Customer Engagement

5 Ways to Increase Consumer Engagement at Your Micro Markets

March 12, 2018 | By Elyssa Steiner

5 Ways to Increase Consumer Engagement at Your Micro Markets

What if your regular office vending machine came alive with more fresh food options, open product shelving and automated payments deducted from your payroll for products purchased? Wouldn’t it make break rooms so much more inviting? Micro Markets, an unattended retail concept, do just that! They are most often found at larger workplace locations with employee populations above 125. Micro Markets are the fastest growing segment of the larger foodservice channel, having seen an unprecedented growth in revenue of 154.1% from 2014 to 2016. In order to install and grow your micro markets, vending operators will have to engage the workplace demographic. Here are 5 ways to build consumer engagement at Micro markets:

  1. Know Your Customer: Do the necessary market research to know what type of location are you going into? White collar, blue collar, distribution center, university, young tech company, call center, etc. Each location type has a demographic. If it is a combination of Millennials, Generation X, and Generation Y, find out what the ratio of each demographic is.
  2. Create Standard Planograms per Demographic: Use the information you collect on your location types to create standard planograms for various demographics. If you are going into a high-tech location, you know your demographic is made up of millennials, and generation Z so be sure to stock more fresh food options, organic, gluten free, local brands, as well as name brand products.
  3. Don’t Set It and Forget It: Provide a comment box at each location so that consumers can provide feedback on product recommendations or flavor selections. Evaluate after the rst 1 – 2 weeks to learn more about how products are performing, and based on category trends, as well as specific product trends, make adjustments to your par levels, or planogram. Ensure that high selling items are getting enough real estate in the market so maximizing space to sales is done quickly.
  4. Rafflle Market Bucks: Take advantage of employees getting signed up with loyalty cards for the market and hold a raffle. This can encourage all employees to sign up for an account and then at the same time get their name in the hat for a free $20 credit (or whatever amount you decide) added onto their new stored value card/account.
  5. Sample Station: Consider inviting a supplier to each grand opening so employees can sample new products your suppliers are testing or specific products you are considering merchandising in that market demographic. It’s a great way to get direct customer feedback and not take on the cost of purchasing all the sample station product yourself.
  6. Quarterly Product demos: Hold quarterly product demos at your markets. This will allow you to test products before even bringing them into the location. By doing this you can get direct consumer feedback instantly before making the investment of bringing a new item into your warehouse.

Understanding your customer, and taking initiatives to keep them engaged can go a long way in growing and expanding your micro market footprint. Implementing the right technology, like  USA Technologies’ Seed Markets will help vending operators monitor inventory, schedule micro market routes and run promotions for new products. This will not just help improve revenue growth but also customer retention. To learn more about Seed Markets click here.


Elyssa Steiner

Chief Marketing Officer

Elyssa has over 10 years in the self-service retail industry and was among the first to be a part of launching the micro market concept into the vending channel. She is passionate about sharing both her knowledge in self-service retail and marketing with industry associations such as NAMA and Frost and Sullivan’s Marketing professionals.

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