Automatic Merchandiser - 24

Micro markets serve an especially
important purpose for essential businesses such as hospitals or distribution
centers as they're often the closest and
most convenient place for employees of
these essential businesses to purchase
food and beverages. Reilly says that
operators can best serve their accounts
by creating an open and transparent
communication platform with their
customer base to alleviate any fear
about spreading COVID-19.
"Talk about what you do to keep
things clean - how to sanitize the
kiosk, how employees are making sure
their hands are washed and they're
doing everything they can to support
the customer in the social distancing
aspect," he said. "Keep things clean;
keep things separate."
McMullan noted that operators
could provide clear instructions to their
accounts in order to properly clean
equipment that users frequently touch,
like kiosks.
"We have instructional videos on
keeping kiosks sanitized," McMullan
said. "We have consistently used these
and recently updated them in light of
the outbreak."
CHALLENGES BEYOND THE
CORONAVIRUS

While most business owners in convenience services are grappling with how
to manage the change in operations
due to the spread of COVID-19, other
challenges remain.
"I would say the biggest challenge facing micro markets right now
is undoubtably legislative - state
and federal governments continue
to change legislation," Hessling said.
"Each time they make changes to legislation, it requires technology changes.
The operators really don't have much
of a way of managing it; it really comes
down to their technology partner. So, if
their technology partner is not proactive when it comes to understanding
legislative changes and the effects of

24

Automatic Merchandiser * April 2020

those changes, the operators could end
up with significant liability."
Hessling pointed to the Biometric
Information Privacy Act (BIPA) law in
Illinois and the California Consumer
Privacy Act (CCPA) law in California.
"They're all just forms of GDPR, a
privacy law that was passed in Europe
that is coming to the U.S., so when
they're passed in different states, they
require different changes," he added.
"Also taxation and currency control,
the ability to accept cash and things
like that. They're all top of mind outside of the coronavirus."
"Biometrics and privacy - that's a
big issue," Reilly added. "How operators are dealing with the different laws
that are coming up around the use of
biometrics and databases and privacy
policies coming out of California. I
think those are challenges. What's
happening in the EMV world, and
payments and security, are challenges
that they're faced with, and then, how
to react to this growing frictionless
environment."
Hessling said he believes that
despite the continued growth of cashless payments, cash will always be part
of the U.S. society.
"Look at Europe and other places -
even the highest users of cashless still
have forms of cash being used because
of its convenience and also because
of social norms," he said. "I don't see
that cash will go away. I think it will
certainly be used less in certain areas.
People use cash because it allows them
to limit their spending, whereas with
credit or debit, you can spend more."
McMullan, on the other hand, has a
different view on cashless payments.
"I believe that our society will be
cashless within a decade," McMullan
said. "Mobile payments have doubled
in the last 24 months and as more and
more payment options like Venmo,
Zelle and more become staples in our
society, cash will become a needed
elimination from our society."

Micro markets are a very
affordable and flexible
product, especially
the newer ones that
are coming to market.
Operators will tell you
that when they convert
[from vending], revenues
go up."
Joe Hessling, founder and CEO of
365 Retail Markets

Of course, operators are faced with
the same ongoing challenges that any
business owner experiences, Reilly
said, such as how to operate more efficiently and how to get better business
intelligence and more dynamic information to operate nimbly and quickly.
Every operator has to find balance
between growing sales and optimizing
their operation.
"There has to be an ongoing focus
on how to grow your business," he said.
"Where can you get innovative? What
new channels can you get into? What
new products and services can you
offer to the market that will continue
to make you relevant and be attractive
to the marketplace? If this [coronavirus
pandemic] goes longer than we think
it's going to go, let's keep looking for
new channels, new distribution and
new applications that you can deploy
and use to continue to build the value
in your business."
McMullan agreed that operators
should consider how unattended retail
and convenience services can offer a
multitude of solutions for their clients.
"We have migrated our focus from
being a break room solution to a true
self-service convenience solution for
break rooms and beyond," he said.
"We bring solutions to where people



Automatic Merchandiser

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Automatic Merchandiser

Editor's Note: A bright future for convenience services
Industry News
OCS Update: A cup of coffee with Chip Wann
New Products of the Year Awards
Micro Market Forum: The coronavirus pandemic swiftly becomes operators' number one challenge in 2020
The Rise of Biometrics: What convenience services operators need to know about this technology
Ahead of the Curve: How Tahoe Vending/Sonoran Coffee uses technology to drive business growth
Classifieds
Social Hubs
Automatic Merchandiser - 1
Automatic Merchandiser - 2
Automatic Merchandiser - 3
Automatic Merchandiser - 4
Automatic Merchandiser - 5
Automatic Merchandiser - Editor's Note: A bright future for convenience services
Automatic Merchandiser - 7
Automatic Merchandiser - Industry News
Automatic Merchandiser - 9
Automatic Merchandiser - 10
Automatic Merchandiser - 11
Automatic Merchandiser - OCS Update: A cup of coffee with Chip Wann
Automatic Merchandiser - 13
Automatic Merchandiser - New Products of the Year Awards
Automatic Merchandiser - 15
Automatic Merchandiser - 16
Automatic Merchandiser - 17
Automatic Merchandiser - 18
Automatic Merchandiser - 19
Automatic Merchandiser - 20
Automatic Merchandiser - 21
Automatic Merchandiser - Micro Market Forum: The coronavirus pandemic swiftly becomes operators' number one challenge in 2020
Automatic Merchandiser - 23
Automatic Merchandiser - 24
Automatic Merchandiser - 25
Automatic Merchandiser - The Rise of Biometrics: What convenience services operators need to know about this technology
Automatic Merchandiser - 27
Automatic Merchandiser - 28
Automatic Merchandiser - 29
Automatic Merchandiser - Ahead of the Curve: How Tahoe Vending/Sonoran Coffee uses technology to drive business growth
Automatic Merchandiser - 31
Automatic Merchandiser - 32
Automatic Merchandiser - 33
Automatic Merchandiser - 34
Automatic Merchandiser - 35
Automatic Merchandiser - 36
Automatic Merchandiser - 37
Automatic Merchandiser - 38
Automatic Merchandiser - 39
Automatic Merchandiser - Classifieds
Automatic Merchandiser - 41
Automatic Merchandiser - Social Hubs
Automatic Merchandiser - 43
Automatic Merchandiser - 44
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