During the Chinese New Year this year, I noticed during my visit to the market that there were many more crane machine franchises in shopping malls, and that there were several shops operating the same items in the same mall in a dense distribution. There were a lot of shoppers in the franchised shops and they were very crowded.
The gathering of many crane machine shops in the same mall and shopping area is just a microcosm of how such shops are blooming across the country.
Similar situations exist in other cities in China, for example, in the impression of Jinan and Kuanhouli commercial street area, less than 50 meters away from the opening of three or four crane franchise shops; there are also many tourist attractions also have special crane shops.
The person in charge of a crane machine franchise in Shandong told the author that their company has been opening crane machine franchises for five or six years. "Many people see this model has good prospects and can make money, so they all join the ranks of opening shops. And the mall investment is also the same type of seven or eight."
In the past, the location of crane machines in shopping malls are mostly corners, cinema doors, the edge of the aisle and other public areas, the number of general is one or two, more will also have about 10 units. This is not the case with crane machine franchises. According to the actual visits, the size of the shops varies from a few dozen square metres to hundreds of square metres. Most of the shops are located on the ground floor, near the lift, and some malls have allocated the atrium square on the ground floor to customers for crane machine shops. In addition, negative floors and floors where leisure and entertainment projects gather also have crane machine shops distributed.
Compared to displaying several crane machines in public areas alone, crane machine franchise shops are more costly and require businesses to rent shops, renovate, purchase more machines, hire full-time staff, etc. However, as a regular business shop, the operation of a crane machine shop is more systematic and professional, such as having staff in charge of replenishing goods, cashiering and serving customers; adopting a membership system, points system and other models to increase the interaction and stickiness between the shop and customers; conducting various forms of publicity and promotion to attract traffic to the shop; and having a more secure after-sales service. In addition, the number of machines is large and the variety of products available for capture increases the chances of the shop attracting more consumers.
Since it is called a crane machine franchise, plush toys are bound to be a must-catch category in the shop. It has been observed that the plush toys that can be caught by the crane machines in the shop are more colourful from image to size. From the image point of view, both "Pooh Bear", "Strawberry Bear", "Crayon Shin", "HelloKitty " and other IP licensed plush toys, as well as the usual plush toys with themes such as bears, pandas, dolphins and the Chinese zodiac.
In terms of size, plush toys of all sizes are available, and many plush keychains are also included. There are also plush products that add functionality such as plush hand warmers, plush pillows and neck pillows for consumers to choose from.
Plush toys are the largest category in most crane machine shops, but they are not the only category. It can be said that most toy categories can be found in the machines of the crane machine franchise, such as blocks, puzzles, girl dolls, building blocks, blind boxes, toy cars, remote control cars, handicrafts and transformations.
The way to play crane machines is generally to catch whichever product you can just take away. For the crane machine franchise, will not be satisfied with only this kind of play, but to find ways to improve customer dwell time, increase the stickiness, improve customer unit price, such as redemption mode.
"Consumers can earn 1 point for catching any of the 8-inch plush toys. Accumulate enough points to redeem products such as large-sized dolls, household appliances and hand-me-downs." The aforementioned shop manager said that from this year's Chinese New Year, this model was okay and there were many people redeeming.
He also mentioned that the redemption activities, consumers grabbed mainly some flow models plush toys, characterized by simple design, good colour and cheap price. Because these plush toys are cheaper, the difficulty of catching them will also be reduced; easy to catch will attract more customers to catch, and the more you catch the more you redeem, so forming a cycle, and ultimately drive shop performance.
In addition to the points redemption model, there are also simpler redemption methods, such as catching three small size plush toys for one large size plush toy.
In just a few years, crane machine shops have sprung up in key shopping areas in major cities across China. And along with the rapid development comes competition. In the face of the current fierce competition, the future of crane machine shops is still unknown, but for the time being, the model is quite popular with consumers, and shops located in well-known shopping areas are doing well, especially during holidays, when almost all shops are crowded with enthusiastic consumers.
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