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    Expert Column: Adding Value to Shopper Experience With Self-Serve Options

    Coin counters boost traffic, profitability for grocers

    By Jim Weaks

    In order to diversify themselves in a highly competitive market, today’s grocers must offer value-added services that enhance their customers’ in-store experience.  And as the grocery industry faces increasing pressure from growing online shopping and delivery options, the customer experience must be a top priority. As such, it's crucial for grocers to proactively implement strategies that provide both value to customers and additional advantages of increased traffic and in-store purchases, such as self-service coin redemption, which is a cost-effective way to achieve these goals while also adding profitability without taking up valuable store space.

    Boosting In-Store Customer Service

    Grocery stores have two distinct advantages over other self-service coin redemption sites: longer store hours and more frequent store visits. Seventy percent of U.S. households report that one or more people living in that home saves loose change, and grocers can tap into this regular part of their customers’ saving habits by offering the convenience of a self-service coin counters in their store. Coin redemption keeps cash in stores, and customers appreciate the convenience of redeeming coin and shopping in one trip.

    Dennis Maxwell, director of advertising and branding for Reasor’s Foods, explains that while most anyone can sell groceries, not everyone delivers extra service. “It’s all about customer service,” he says. “The primary reason our customers shop with us is our exemplary service and the quality of our fresh departments.”

    In keeping with its efforts to provide customers with unmatched service, Reasor’s installed a self-service coin counter in each of its locations. The machines are well liked by customers for their convenience and counting speed and appreciated by management for their quiet operation and trouble-free performance.

    Turning Self-Service Coin Redemption into Profits

    Self-service coin machines can also be a revenue generator for grocers. By setting their own coin redemption fees, grocers can gain a valuable source of additional revenue – and customers feel that fees are justified by the convenience and features offered. Grocers should consider selecting a self-service coin machine that allows them to control the coin redemption fee for greater profitability.

    Tesco also installed self-service coin counters as an extra service for customers in its larger stores many years ago and soon found that the coin machines were not only popular among customers, but also produced valuable revenue for the stores. As a result, the U.K.-based retailer has recently added coin machines to its nearly 200 Tesco Metro outlets.  

    Self-service coin machines also put disposable income in customers’ hands immediately. Cash-in-hand is the top motivator for customers to convert loose change into spendable dollars. In a recent study, 36 percent of participants surveyed spent the cash they received from coin machines on general living expenses such as groceries; making in-store self-service coin machines an excellent way to increase sales revenue. Grocers can also further tap into this by promoting store specials or high-margin items through on-screen advertising on the machine.

    The success of self-service coin redemption is largely dependent upon the accuracy, speed and quality of the equipment; machine service and support; and, cost-effective procurement options. Selecting the right equipment and vendor is critical to make the process easy for grocers of all sizes to deploy self-service coin redemption, enabling them to select the option that’s right for their store and delivers the most profit per square foot.

    To learn more about how grocery stores can cash in on revenue-generating opportunities with self-service coin machines, visit www.cumminsallison.com/moneymachine.

    The author, Jim Weaks, is VP of Cummins Allison, a leading innovator and provider of check, currency and coin handling solutions, as well as full-function ATMs.


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