As we begin 2020, gas station and convenience store owners can rest easy knowing that c-stores are not going anywhere. In fact, the expectation from customers is for the retail environment to become even more convenient.
As with many industries over the past decade, c-stores have significantly evolved—remaining the top destination for seekers of hot beverages and the preferred quick service food spot among millennials and Gen Z with food sales accounting for 23% of all revenue.
With increased traffic, convenience stores have become more dependent on emerging retail technology in 2020, with many looking to update their current systems to offer frictionless checkout, mobile and on-demand delivery, improve inventory management and reduce shrinkage and theft, and get better control over labor management.
These goals are good indicators as to what technology trends will be most important to c-stores in 2020.
Offering Mobile Ordering and Delivery
Convenience store food sales will continue to be on the rise; 43% of millennials are purchasing more food from c-stores now than they were three years ago. Being able to meet the high demand to keep millennials and Gen Z fed will be essential to the success of c-stores in 2020.
Stay a cut above the competition by offering a new way to meet the generations’ demand for quick and healthy options, on-the-go meals, and other products that save customers an extra stop.
With the popularity of one-stop-shop mentality, many convenience stores have started to implement mobile ordering and delivery within their apps—the ultimate time-saving convenience!
This new addition to the c-store environment has provided a competitive advantage in the market and gives c-stores an edge when it comes to the customer experience. By being able to fulfil customers’ needs in more ways than ever before you can quickly become their go-to pick for convenient food and impulse buys.
Innovative Payment Technology Solutions for Increased Security
Since the deadline to become EMV compliant is set for late 2020, gas stations and c-stores will need to transition and integrate the most secure payment technology to protect against fraud. With fuel historically making up 50-60% of c-store sales, it’s become more important than ever to prioritize. While making the transition to Automated Fuel Dispenser (AFD) upgrades does take some planning and time, it offers the best-case scenario for both c-stores and customer security.
Not only that, but remaining compliant with all government regulations is a challenge c-stores face across the board. A solution many c-store owners are leveraging are point of sale (POS) solutions that reduce compliance risk. Look for completely integrated point of sale solutions that track not only sales history, but the method of payment accepted by your POS system, providing the most convenient and secure payment option for both your store and customers.
Data Insights into Customer Customization for Increased Revenue Opportunities
Tie it all together with the last c-store technology trend for 2020—leveraging cloud-based POS software to access data anywhere, anytime. Unlimited real-time data insight leads to a more profitable environment with streamlined access to all information across multiple locations.
Benefits to cloud-based systems—other than the convenience of mobility—is increased security as well as the ability to accurately measure inventory and product demands for easier forecasting of merchandise orders. With improved inventory management, c-stores can deliver better customer satisfaction, build brand loyalty, offer applicable promotions, and get a better handle on shrinkage and cut losses.
Digitizing your operations makes it easier to manage your rewards and loyalty programs with a single point of contact, through your POS system. Easier operational management improves efficiency, cuts labor costs, reduces loss, and increases productivity.
C-store technology trends for 2020 shows the dependence c-stores have on technology solutions that streamline management systems and troubleshoot to avoid costly downtime that affect the bottom line of your business.
As we enter the new decade, make sure your c-store is not left behind the times. Contact Petrosoft for more information about our solutions that will future-proof your c-store business.