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Micro Markets

How They Impact Your Bottom Line.

May 28, 2020
By Michael Johnson


You are leaving for lunch, and the phone rings. A vending machine is accepting money without dispensing food. Knowing the machine is an hour away, you quickly grab lunch to-go and set out on the road to help the customer. While fixing the broken coil and bill accepter, you notice the amount of change in the coin bin and realize you will have to take that stack, along with many others, to the bank at the end of the month. As much as you enjoy talking to the bank manager, you decide it is time for a change. One that involves fewer quarters to count.

Tiny but fierce, micro-markets are a rapidly growing sector of vending machine retail, and are turning heads with the use of digital integration and automated technology to make the unattended self-checkout experience a breeze. Group C, the largest independent vending company in the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, was looking to add micro-markets to their already stacked portfolio of traditional vending and coffee services. To do so, it required a technology partner that could easily integrate into their current Vending Management System (VMS), USAT’s Seed Platform. Enter Yoke Payments, a self-checkout software solution, to create a dynamic and technology-driven micro-market cohabitations for the vending industry.

For companies considering adding micro-markets to their business portfolio to increase their bottom line, we have four essential factors to consider.

1. Network Connectivity

Running a business that relies on local network capabilities can quickly become a nightmare for businesses, if Wi-fi is spotty and have strong firewalls that slow transactions down. Fortunately, those hurdles can be bypassed with latest generations of Apple iPads with built SIM cards that provide instant cellular connectivity.


2. Size Matters

Scaling up is usually a target for most companies, but when you are required to scale down, things can get tricky. When your business relies on every inch of available space for potential revenue opportunities, the product cannot be sacrificed. With compact payment terminals, flexible wall-mounts and floor stands, and a smartphone payment application, your company can capitalize on every inch of your location, allowing for a significant increase in revenue per square inch.

3. Cost

Without the first two options, the cost of running a vending business can easily skyrocket, leaving any potential profit along with the crumbs at the bottom of the bag. Luckily, the biggest problems traditional vending machines present are solved by eliminating the associated costs, such as paying for mechanical failure, staffing needs, and repair calls.

4. Seamless Integration

A key driver of Yoke’s technology is the ability to integrate with multiple VMS systems. In this case, Group C was fully integrated with Cantaloupe’s Seed Pro. We were able to adapt our system to fit Group C’s needs and continue to provide direct in-app support for their customers.

In less than a year, Group C opened over 150 markets, with another 350 planned by the end of 2020. The company has increased its revenue by 40-200 percent over traditional vending businesses. The company can now provide a cohesive experience from the moment a customer approaches their vending machines to the time they pay for their much-needed snack.

Efficiency tracking and managing inventory is also crucial to the survival of a successful business. User-friendly data organization and visual dashboards create customizable customer and product performance reports to help produce meaningful results. When operating a vending machine business, it is easy to get stuck in the daily operations while still trying to turn a profit. However, just like a broken coil or faulty bill acceptor, the usual struggles with vending machines will disappear after switching to a more efficient and results-driven platform.

Michael Johnson is the co-founder and CEO of Yoke. To learn more about Yoke Payments and how we may be
beneficial to your business, visit