Last month, we started hearing the first reports of a coin shortage. It may or may not have been followed by a few eye rolls and shoulder shrugs. Weeks later, we’ve seen grocery store chains move to not issuing change and banks buying your change. In the laundromat world, some owners continue to struggle with having an adequate supply of quarters. It’s definitely serious.
If 2020 has taught us anything, it is to have a Plan B…and Plan C. We’ve all heard the rally cry against changing – “my customers will go elsewhere if I abandon coins.” Well, there are two points left to be made 1. How many prospective customers are you losing, who would rather use a credit card or an app-based payment; and 2. If coins continue to be scarce, how will your store manage? Offering multiple payment options just makes sense and offers built-in plans B and C.
Don’t believe technology is the way to go? You can bet your competitors think otherwise. Alliance brands continue to see markets embrace technology. Our most recent survey of stores tapping our suite of technology tools offers a glimpse into its value.
The raw number of registered app users is just under 250,000. Perhaps even more striking is the app adoption rate, which is at 35 percent. In addition, 33 percent of stores with app-based payment systems are seeing a greater than 25 percent adoption rate.
We are also fast approaching 50,000 machines networked.
This year has been one of management from afar. Our children are learning virtually. Our companies are working and meeting online. Heck, we are even ordering our toilet paper and hand sanitizer online and having it delivered to our door. How do we justify an analog approach to laundromat business in a truly digital world?
A case can certainly be made that the owner who offers multiple payment options is better positioned for success than one tied solely to coins. Similarly, the owner who can check store activity, remote start machines and offer refunds, all from the comfort of home is in a significantly more advantageous spot than their counterpart during the pandemic.
When it comes to business, and in life, we can all agree that being well prepared is the best plan. As is having the right technology tools for the job.