Customer perception is key…

Everywhere you turn in the vending industry, there’s a buzz about function, interaction (UI) and the micro-market environment.

They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression. This couldn’t be truer than with today’s fast paced consumer. Everywhere you turn in the vending industry, there’s a buzz about function, interaction (UI) and the micro-market environment.

It applies to vending machines, micro-markets and kiosks, and now the vending customers’ ability to shop and pay with their smartphone via an App. It’s important to make the most of the limited time that you have in front of the customer. But how do you draw your customer in and keep them coming back time and again to the newest big thing in the vending industry… the Micro Market?

It is especially important in a Micro Market setting to have the right selections of fresh salads, sandwiches and wraps, chips, candy, and NAMA FitPick® Program foods and beverages available. But what’s more important than that, is how you display your products.

Many people return to Starbucks every morning because most stores have cozy environments, marketplaces that are outfitted with fixtures that remind them of their kitchen nook or living room and the people there greet them by their first name and remember their “usual”. Even the fast-food giant McDonalds is undergoing the biggest store-by-store makeover in its history. Gone are the days of fiberglass furniture and goodbye primary colors. Hello warm wooden tables, comfortable chairs, and interiors painted in muted earth tones. If you think creating an inviting and professional look to your Micro Market costs too much, just consider the $1 Billion plus remodeling bill that McDonalds is racking up by 2015.

Alicia Lavay mentions in her article in Vending Times (June 2013) that operators need to “be receptive to ideas that can boost sales and make customers happier”. With that said, let’s put ourselves in the customers shoes for a moment. As the customer, would you rather shop in a micro market environment that seems thrown together… minimalist really; or one that is appealing, inviting, stylish and maybe even reminds you of your favorite coffee shop or restaurant?

Also noted in a Food Service Warehouse article by Monica Parpal, creating the right environment may be one of the most important keys to the success of your food and beverage endeavor.

References:

Vending Times Vol. 53, No. 6, June 2013, Posted On: June 21st, 2013

Food Service Warehouse, How to Deliver Quality and… By Monica Parpal, Aug. 14th, 2015

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