More than Just a Pit Stop
Convenience stores are already starting to become more than just places to fuel up and maybe grab a quick drink or snack. Many have now evolved to offer upscale facilities with modern customer experiences.
The industry has made major strides to improve its overall value and public perception, and changes in technology have played a big role in this transformation. It’s only a matter of time when the shift will escalate as a result of the innovations happening in the fuel industry.
In fact, c-store operators have already identified automation, next-level delivery, frictionless checkout and mobile apps as the most promising and profit-driving technologies.
7-Eleven is now testing cashierless storesand drone delivery in an effort to remain at the forefront of innovation and customer engagement.
As these technologies grow and gain popularity, the c-store shopping experience will focus almost entirely on experiential retail and creating a frictionless customer journey.
To meet customer demands, convenience store retailers will have to find ways to make the store as easy, painless and exciting as possible.
Shoppers will expect to quickly grab to-go items off the shelf, and retailers have the opportunity to deliver on this by making the point-of-sale speedy and reliable, whether it’s mimicking an Amazon Go-like model or deploying mobile retail concepts to eliminate pain points, especially long lines and wait times.
Personalized customer service can also be made possible with valuable shopper data and insights, making it simple to cater orders, deals and recommendations to each individual customer as soon as they walk in the door.
The fight for a more sustainable future in the automotive industry will surely impact the convenience store market, and retailers need to be prepared for what’s ahead by continuously innovating and creating new opportunities to excite customers with a frictionless experience — no matter the journey, or the vehicle used to get there.
Michael Jaszczyk is CEO of GK Software USA.