Today’s convenience world is changing, allowing operators to connect with their customers in new, unique and dynamic ways. At the 2018 NAMA Show, Brian Fischer, National Sales Director at USA Technologies, had the opportunity to serve on a panel talking about the latest trends in technology and what is on the horizon with the ever-evolving consumer demand. In case you missed it, we wanted to provide a recap of some important takeaways for every vending operator to consider.
In the past, you have heard a lot about millennials, this session really talked not just about millennials but the generations that are shortly following like Generation Z. Millennials will occupy 75% of the workforce by 2025 and Gen X is close behind them. Gen Z will make up 40% of the consumer base by 2020, and that is only a short 2 years from now. Consumer demand is changing more rapidly as baby boomers retire, and new younger consumers who don’t know a time before a smart phone, the internet, and social media existed.
With that said, let’s get down to the three biggest takeaways you should know about the next generation of technology and where to double down your company’s efforts.
#1: Be Connected, Stay Connected. If you aren’t connecting your machines to bring them online, then you will be missing out on the opportunity to know your consumer. We can’t stress enough about how important it is to bring a machine online so that you can get live data on what consumers are buying, where a product performs best, and when to make a product change. No one location is identical to the next and the old ways of merchandising just don’t work anymore. To maximize your ROI and increase sales the best way is to stay dynamic and leverage the live data to better understand your customer’s ideal preferences.
#2: Cashless is More Attractive to Today’s Consumer. You may have heard this over and over again, but if you are not implementing cashless on your machines you are missing out on a big opportunity to increase revenue. Vending machines have long been viewed as these old, clunky, unreliable machines. Now with offerings like cashless, loyalty, or interactive screens to engage the consumer, you are seeing a new perspective on how consumers view and use vending machines. When you install cashless on a machine you are bound to see as much as 30%* lift in sales, so don’t hesitate, get machines online and get cashless installed to instantly see a lift in sales.
#3: Implement a Loyalty Program. Consumers love “freebies” and what better way to provide one than to your most loyal, repeat customers. The way consumers interact with vending machines is evolving. You can create interactive experiences by leveraging loyalty programs to your customers so that they have a more enticing reason to come back to your machines each day, versus the local convenience store down the street. Consider implementing loyalty programs like USAT’s MORE, which is the premier consumer loyalty program for the self-service, retail marketplace. MORE integrates seamlessly with all equipment and services processing payments via USAT’s ePort Connect platform, allowing operators to leverage the promotional power of loyalty programming at locations including vending, retail kiosks, micro markets, café POS, catering, and MORE!
Today’s up-and-coming consumers are continuing to challenge the “status quo” of how they are serviced, when and with what products. So, what do you need to do to prepare your business for the next 5 – 10 years and beyond? The advice from this panel discussion at The NAMA Show 2018 was to pay attention to the consumer trends/demands and to leverage technology to get you there faster. The consumer and retail industry will change more over the next 20 years than it has over the last 200, don’t get left behind.
*Based on the annual USAT Knowledge Base Report
If you would like to learn how you can start leveraging USAT’s cashless services or the MORE loyalty program, please complete the form below and a representative will reach out to you.