Business Management

The Best Locations for Your Micro Market

February 22, 2022 | By Madison Barr

The Best Locations for Your Micro Market

Micro markets have been gaining popularity with consumers and operators due to the recent growth in unattended, self-service retail. Because they can increase company ROI compared to standard attended point of sale and vending options, many operators and organizations are meeting that rise in popularity by seeking new locations for micro markets. They are beneficial to company growth, and can implemented almost anywhere, with cost-effective setup.

With the ability to implement relatively quickly and easily due to their compact size and lack of manned checkout system, micro markets offer uniquely flexible placement capabilities that allow consumers to view a convenient range of goods in an easy-to-navigate floorplan. Additionally, a closed-loop environment creates a strong location for a micro market that enables the upselling of products for greater convenience and growth.

Finding a great location is a critical step and key factor in opening your micro market — whether a small kiosk in a hotel or a more prominent presence in a distribution center or office. Let’s explore the best locations for your company’s next micro market and its benefits.

Take advantage of small spacesfor self-service.

One of the strongest benefits of a micro market compared to more traditional convenient retail is space flexibility. Put simply, you don’t need a large space to open a micro market. Eleven percent of micro markets are now placed in smaller locations compared to a decade ago. These micro markets are also profitable in small locations due to the availability of compact, affordable point-of-sale systems and a wide variety of products in tight areas.

Micro markets can also be placed in locations with fewer customers and employees than ever before, and making sure to utilize a cost-effective micro market solution like Yoke can even ensure profitability in locations with as low as 50 consumers. From the corner of a lobby to small lunchrooms, waiting rooms and break rooms — micro markets can be placed just about anywhere regardless of the number of potential consumers.

Additionally, the ability to scan and purchase items in a virtual shopping cart using smartphones makes smaller locations ideal for micro markets because they meet the needs of consumers with less space spent on the point of sale. Sometimes called nano markets, these markets only require space for the actual products themselves since the POS is on each customer’s phone. Incorporating a market solution like Yoke Pay can allow for less than 50 consumers to be served in a location.

Expanding location options.

Micro markets were initially conceived for closed environments such as office breakrooms to give employees a more comprehensive selection of healthy snack and meal options than what was traditionally offered through a vending machine. Breakroom micro markets also created a convenient location to acquire meals, which eliminated the need to leave work but still provided a wide variety of food and beverage offerings for employees. These benefits still hold true, so many micro markets are found in break rooms today.

With so much success in small locations, operators have continued to expand within closed-loop environments by placing markets in additional spaces and on different floors within a single account. That is, operators are placing a micro market on multiple floors of a company’s office. Other examples of closed-loop environment locations that work well for micro markets are a communal office, communal living space, distribution center, cafeteria replacement and more.

Utilize public-facing micro market locations.

Retailers are now finding ways to implement successful micro markets outside the usual closed-loop environments. With competition from convenience stores, micro market operators should also look for additional locations, such as large, public-facing areas. Experts believe convenience retail space is a natural next step for this industry to compete in public-facing areas due to self-service working its way into the mainstream.

Companies have started expanding unattended retail stores into public areas such as shopping malls, hospitals, military bases, hotels and airports. These high-traffic locations allow more consumers to utilize the market and help with product turnover that leads to a more significant ROI with upselling. Public-facing micro markets can also operate successfully thanks to new anti-theft solutions and the ability to be physically located much closer to their customers.

The advantages of micro markets extend to education, too, as universities and schools have launched micro markets to meet students’ needs with expanded hours of operation and a range of food items. The markets offer options for grab-and-go meals, snacks, hot or cold beverages as well as other selections that can be purchased via traditional credit or debit card, university card or mobile payment. Micro markets perform well across a range of unique locations due to convenient, self-service retail demand.

Top tier self-service solutions with Yoke.

With contactless interactions becoming more in demand, opening a micro market or kiosk allows companies to meet consumers where and how they want. Whether you want to utilize a small space by launching a kiosk or take advantage of a larger, public-facing micro market, finding the right location for a self-service store has become even more accessible.

With an all-in-one platform that enables companies to open a micro market virtually anywhere, quickly and efficiently, Cantaloupe’s Yoke POS features a smaller, slimmer physical presence that helps micro markets by taking up less room than a standard point of sale. The Yoke platform delivers a flexible, contactless option for consumers while giving operators a reliable management system for their micro markets.

Learn more about picking the best location for your micro market and how Cantaloupe’s solutions can help.


Madison Barr

Content Marketing Manager

Madison has over a decade of experience in marketing communications, she earned her B.A. from the University of Colorado Denver in 2011, and an M.A. in Communication Management from Denver University in 2017. She is passionate about integrating marketing, sales, and communications to drive business results.

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