How to Start a Micro Market Business by Parlevel

INTRODUCTION – Parlevel’s guide on How to Start Your Micro Market Business! My name is Jayce Kalmbach, and I’m the Director of Sales here at Parlevel. Over the years, we have consulted hundreds of companies on how to find success with micro markets, and we want to give you the same valuable insights. In this series of videos we will answer common questions, provide proper guidance, and showcase examples that will help you start your very own micro market business.

So what are micro markets, and why should you be interested? Micro markets are an unattended retail service that offer diverse products right where customers need them. A mixture of displays, coolers, and kiosks combine to offer a convenient, self-checkout solution. Through micro markets, you can sell high-margin items like fresh food, snacks, drinks, and even everyday necessities like milk or paper towels.

Micro markets work best in places with repeat visitors like office buildings, workplaces, government buildings, and more. Micro markets are similar to vending machines, but offer you the potential for a wider range of products, more lucrative locations, and an overall more profitable business. For example, an average 4 machine vending bank can generate monthly revenues of $1,400, while a micro market brings in average revenues of more than $4,000.

Due to this huge money-making potential, micro markets are all the buzz in the unattended retail space. Micro markets account for $1.7 billion of industry sales and micro market placements grow every year – with over 26,000 active micro market locations.

Getting started with micro markets is easy – the barrier to entry is low. Anyone can find locations, install equipment, and service locations to make money on this growing trend. But, you need to know what you’re doing. Join us on this video series, and show you how to make money and find success by starting your own micro market business.


The right equipment is essential to a successful micro market operation. Your on-site equipment is what your customers will interact with every day, so you must take care in making sure it is as good as it can possibly be. No matter how solid your business plan or infrastructure, a micro market with a poor kiosk, faulty fridges, or shoddy shelving will lead to an unsuccessful business. Here, we’ll cover how to choose the right equipment for your micro market.

A touchscreen, self-checkout kiosk is the core of your entire micro market operation. Choosing the right kiosk is an incredibly impactful decision for your micro market business. Here are some things to consider as you choose a provider:

Ease of Use – how easy is it for my customer to use my kiosk? It is imperative that it is as simple and easy as possible for your customers to purchase from you. Make sure the kiosk has features like a large screen, engaging images, and simple checkout.

Payment Options – Everyone likes to pay in different ways. Look for a kiosk that appeals to your customers by maximizing payment options. Cash, cards, virtual wallets, mobile payments – a good kiosk offers your customers flexibility.

Reliability – Your kiosk needs to stay up and running for your market to stay running. Make sure your kiosk has tools like offline functionality, responsive customer support, and high general uptime.

Sales & Management Tools – Different kiosk providers have different levels of management tools. Signs of a good kiosk give you all the tools you need to be successful. Look for inventory, routing, and servicing features. Offering promotions, rewards, and your own branding is key. Sales tools like merchandising, analytics, and space-to-sales recommendations will help you get the most money out of your locations. Powerful management tools are just as important for a micro market as the physical kiosk itself.

A Range of Options – Different locations have different needs. Your kiosk provider should have a large option optimized for bigger locations and a smaller option for smaller locations to help you maximize your return on investment. You can even go completely virtual with your kiosk at smaller locations by using an app on your customers smartphone to power purchases.

Racking, Coolers, and Freezers
Snack racks display common items like chips and candy. Your racks should be modular – meaning you can get different sizes for different locations. Plus make sure they are flexible with their displays – you likely want some mixture of pegs and racks to display product. They also need to be appealing to your customers, so keep an eye on features like product pushers, custom branding, and attractive display.

With coolers and freezers, you’re primarily looking for reliability and safety. You want to offer always-chilled, never-expired options to your customers. Features like a health lock will lock the cooler if it loses power – ensuring your customers don’t buy spoiled product. Gravity trays do an exceptional job of displaying your products for easy purchase. Keep an eye on energy-efficiency as well to show your location you care about their energy needs.

Signage, Security & More
Other items to consider in your physical micro market setup include contact information, kiosk how-to guides, and branding. Some locations will ask you for coffee machines, microwaves, or utensils, so be prepared to offer that if necessary. A secure micro market is key to success – if people steal from you, you won’t make money. Many kiosks come with security options built-in, but consider signs or external cameras to find and eliminate potential theft.

Your micro market equipment is one of the most important parts of your business. To keep your customers happy and money coming in, you need the right equipment. In particular, your kiosk and technology partner is the biggest consideration you can make for your market’s success. Now that you know what to look for, you can maximize profits with the right equipment.

For more information visit website at:, call (210) 200-8873, email