Micro Markets Continue To Grow

Micro Markets are set up in break rooms and provide beverages, snacks, and food to employees. An employee simply selects items from reach-in coolers, reach-in freezers, snack racks, or shelving units. Once customers have their desired items, they check out at the unattended kiosk by scanning the items’ bar codes and then pay for them right at the kiosk.

Micro Markets have been around for approximately eleven years.  When they made their debut, many people thought that choosing items from an open market and then paying for them at a kiosk was an interesting idea but would never launch. There were many perceived hurdles early on: credit cards, reward cards, unattended/self-checkout kiosk, honesty, FIFO, etc. We had a very difficult time placing our second market and had to convince the customer that we were fully committed to making this unfamiliar concept work. Our first market, however, was a very easy placement. At A.H., we set it up in our own break room to use as a showcase and to familiarize ourselves with its nuances.

Enhancing The Office Break Room

As time marched forward, the micro markets’ presentation, variety, healthier product selection, and overall positive customer experience propelled them into many of our customers’ employee breakrooms. Vending machines still have their place and are needed in many instances, but more and more clients want the open market feel. Comparing vending machines to micro markets is like purchasing a cup of coffee through a drive-through window versus going into the coffee shop to buy it.  The drive-through window is quick and convenient, but the coffee shop provides a great experience and allows you to see the wide variety of items offered. 

When you first walk into a break room that has a micro market, you will notice the open and inviting retail atmosphere that a market creates. Brightly lit coolers, well-merchandised products, attractive graphics, and promotional monitors immediately create an interactive feeling. 

With the increased variety in a market, there is generally something for everyone. The overall number of beverage and snack offerings from respective manufacturers has increased greatly. While soda is still popular, functional drinks continue to gain market share. Whether it is energy, antioxidants, or other healthy supplemental ingredients, these new-age drinks have a wide fan base. Healthier snacks have also come a long way, and A.H. offers many delicious, guilt-free items. We also provide over-the-counter medicines and separate individual salad dressings so customers can enjoy crisp salads with their favorite dressing. 

Full-Service Office Program

The kiosk is connected to the internet, so A.H. can see real-time sales.  We know exactly what to bring the next service and can quickly observe emerging trends. If a refund is needed, this connectivity allows us to view transactions, confirm the refund, and apply it to your account.  Lost market cards that are registered can also have funds moved to new cards. Just notify us and we will move your funds from one card to a new card.

Our customers can also use an App to easily make purchases.  After checking your items, just hold your phone to the scanner and the transaction will be completed. You can view your account from your app or by going online. Your account will provide purchase history, promotions index (buy 4, get the fifth free), reward points, and your balance. One of the most underrated features is the automatic re-load setting.  When funds go below a certain level, additional funds are added to your market card account from your designated credit card, and an email confirmation is sent to you. 

Micro Market cards are provided to our customers, and they are used to store value on them. Purchasing from your micro market card or from the app is quick with the added bonus of earning promotions and reward points at the same time. 

Micro Market Solutions

Cameras used for customer compliance also adds breakroom security.  Several times we have been asked to look for other incidents that occurred in the break room. Surveillance will offer some safety assurances, but we only access it when needed. 

Micro Markets use less energy than typical vending and can save on energy costs to assist companies with their LEED Program. Efficient, LED lighting accompanied by low voltage coolers help to create a green footprint.

Micro Markets are very reliable. Most of the transactions occur with payment cards: credit, debit, or stored value cards. Even though markets can accept cash, coins are not an option. Kiosks will not accept nor payout coins……a major source for vending service calls.  It does not happen often, but with micro markets you won’t need to worry about products hanging up or drawers not opening as with vending machines.

Finally, Micro Markets have few to no touch points when making a purchase. This will give you peace of mind and complete a great micro market experience.