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Check out these best practices for running a successful c-store!

Best practices for running a successful convenience store

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

  1. Utilize software systems that share data:

    Data is the most powerful tool for running a successful retail business. It is the key to discovering business insights that help retailers discover areas of opportunity to boost profitability.  

    This is especially important for small retail operators because their margins are much narrower than big-box competitors. However, it is difficult to take advantage of sales, inventory, and expense data, when the systems that house this data are disconnected.  

    For example, sales data often lives in the point-of-sale (POS) system that makes transactions, while received inventory data lives in a back-office system. If these systems are incompatible with one another, it becomes more difficult to successfully reconcile this data and have a running inventory count or determine what the best-selling items in the store are.  

    Leveraging technology can help retailers take advantage of their data. For instance, SmartPOS communicates directly with CStoreOffice, a back-office software for convenience stores. When sales are made at a SmartPOS terminal, the data is sent to CStoreOffice, which houses invoice data and automatically calculates how many of each item a store has on hand. 

    CStoreOffice deducts the inventory sold at the SmartPOS terminal from the total inventory count. This gives the retailer up-to-date, accurate data about item quantity.

  2. Simplify document management:

    Running a small business comes with lots of paperwork, particularly for inventory-rich businesses like convenience stores. Because the average convenience store sells thousands of different items, c-store owners need to process invoices from lots of different vendors.  

    Streamlining document management with a system that can digitally process and store invoices is key to reducing the time you spend on paperwork. 

    For example, automating invoice processing saves hundreds of hours every month, putting store owners back on the sales floor. Many vendors offer Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). Taking advantage of this feature within your back-office software save time while improving accuracy. For paper invoices, users can automate their invoice processing with an add-on like Data Processing Services (DPS). With DPS, CStoreOffice users simply scan or photograph an invoice, upload it, and within 36 hours, the invoice data is added to your account.  

  3. Invest in loss prevention:

    The average retailer loses 1.6% of their revenue to shrink, or stolen inventory, each year. This means c-stores lose an average of $28,000 of revenue every year due to shrink. Preventing these losses is key to the success of any retail business, and for small businesses. Often, it’s the difference between staying in business and shutting down.  

    Investing in a loss prevention system can help identify – and eliminate – sources of shrink. AI-powered loss prevention software designed specifically for convenience stores does this by connecting sales data that is high-risk for c-stores to corresponding video. For example, an unusually large number of high-risk transactions, like cancels and returns, might be stealing cash or product. Loss Prevention Analytics flags risky transactions and pairs each one with click-to-watch video. Users can filter by employee, location, time, and more to better identify where losses occur in record time.  

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