Smartphones replace kiosks at micromarkets

In the States, Three Square Market is taking a pioneering approach to micromarkets with the deployment of its first two self-checkout stores in which customers’ only way to scan their product and pay is by using their smartphones.

The company believes the mobile-only markets, launched this summer in Boston and Phoenix, are the only facilities of their kind in operation. Both are located at technology firms, each of which has about 70 employees and saw the smartphone-based checkout approach as a unique and convenient solution for their tech-savvy employees.

Users download the Three Square app on their Android or iOS mobile devices, set up an account and add value to establish a balance. They can then scan a product’s barcode, using the phone’s camera, to add it to their cart and then check out. “The smartphone becomes the kiosk.”

Three Square is making strides in the vending market, having opened 350 micromarkets in its first year.

A spokesperson from the company said “It surprised us when we got into the vending market that 80% of operators are still not in the micromarket business, including some large companies. Many are still hesitant to place the first one, but they never want to go back after they see the gains and the new customers they bring in by offering new, healthier products through a small-scale retail store in the workplace.”

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