No Coins Needed and Other Trends in Self-​Serve Laundry

BY Courtney Huckabay
Featured image for “No Coins Needed and Other Trends in Self-​Serve Laundry”

As manufacturers introduce more energy-​efficient machines with flexible, coinless laundry payment options, laundromats are becoming highly automated businesses that require minimal owner oversight and provide customers with unprecedented levels of convenience.

"This means that modern laundry has a higher surplus budget to spend on amenities like flatscreen televisions, vending machines, lighting and cleaning services," LaundryCard​.com reported. "These new trends ensure that the old picture of the unsavory, unclean coin-​operated laundromat is effectively replaced by the laundromat of tomorrow. Here today: completely coinless (or hybrid card-​and-​coin operated) machines, convenient, clean, aesthetically-​pleasing, and profitable."

Knowing about these kinds of upgrades and offerings will matter most to the 6% of Americans using laundromats on a regular basis, according to the new AudienceSCAN data.

"Owners are investing in other amenities such as high-​speed Wi-​Fi, premium facility lighting and higher quality food and beverage offerings. As these trends proliferate across the industry, laundromats are becoming more inviting spaces for patrons and smart investments for potential owners."

"Customers in turn benefit from the option of using reusable payment or “loyalty cards” or a debit/​credit card at any cashless digital card reader. Customers can even pay digitally through smartphone interfaces like the FasCard app."

Laundromat owners could tout their new tech on TV. The new AudienceSCAN study revealed 41.5% of Laundromat Users took action after watching television (over-​the-​air, online, mobile or tablet) commercials in the past 30 days.

"We recognized early on that cashless, then subsequently contactless, payments would become mainstream as consumers gained a level of comfort opting to pay using their mobile phones or even a smartwatch, so we started developing our systems to accommodate back when the World Wide Web was just starting to get traction – and that is how we came up with SpyderWash,” said Michael Schantz, President, Setomatic Systems.

With vend prices on washers in the range of $2.00 to $14.00 per wash cycle, it has become more important than ever to offer consumers the convenience of paying at the point of sale in a fast, simple and convenient way whether it is with a simple swipe of their credit card or mobile phone using a Mobile Wallet like Apple Pay, Android Pay or Samsung Pay. Our SpyderWash System combined with USA Technologies’ powerful ePort Connect platform gives our customers a soup to nuts service that enables credit/​debit, contactless mobile payment processing, loyalty and more.”

The company now makes it possible for consumers to manage their loyalty card balance, view transaction history, and check on which SpyderWash washers and dryers are available in their local laundry, via the newly launched SpyderWash App for both iOS and Android devices. In addition, customers who are iPhone users can now search for the nearest laundromats accepting Apple Pay via Apple Maps.

Laundromats can reach new sales goals by implementing a loyalty program and advertising it. Encourage customers to return through loyalty programs and entice new customers through marketing specials. The new AudienceSCAN survey showed 37.5% of Laundromat Users took action after receiving mobile smartphone app ads or text message ads in the past month.

"Laundromat owners are quickly replacing the often cramped and dimly lit laundromats of the past with stylish, clean and spacious facilities featuring an array of entertainment options, including large televisions and Wi-​Fi accessibility. The renewed emphasis on creating a pleasing, safe environment has undone persistent stereotypes and attracted new generations of laundromat customers."

"Investing in newer, more efficient machines defrays the rising costs of doing business while providing owners with the opportunity to upgrade to coinless laundry payment methods."

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies, or with the SalesFuel API. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.