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Low-cost ways to expand c-store technology offerings

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

As the world becomes more and more technologically advanced, savvy retailers are keen to keep up with changing consumer wants and needs. These days, customers are looking more and more for a technologically advanced retail experience. However, these advancements can be expensive and difficult to implement, particularly for independent owner-operators. According to C-Store Dive, a new self-checkout terminal can cost $30,000, a huge cost for retailers who may be struggling to keep up with rising direct store operating expenses. Fortunately, there are several low-cost ways to improve your technology offerings and bring more customers into your c-store:

1. Point-of-sale-systems

Upgraded point-of-sale technology is attractive to c-store customers, who are often looking for a quick experience while in-store shopping. While investing in the latest self-checkout technology can be costly, there are more cost-effective ways to invest in similar technology.

Several POS systems, like Petrosoft’s SmartPOS, feature sleek, modern designs and high-tech experiences, such as touch screen integration. However, unlike some systems, SmartPOS starts at under $800 per terminal, meaning it’s easier for independent retailers to upgrade their tech. Additionally, SmartPOS seamlessly integrates with over 50 card processors, meaning there’s no need to purchase additional hardware.

2. Modern payment processing

While existing payment processors get the job done, more than half of Americans use contactless payments. There are several factors contributing to consumers’ preference for contactless payments, including terminal cleanliness and not wanting to sign a pin pad. If your existing payment terminal doesn’t accept tap-to-payments from customers’ mobile phones or chip cards, consider upgrading to one that does.

Additionally, beginning in 2021, new EMV regulations stipulate that fuel retailers must accept chip card payments, or risk being financially responsible for fraudulent card activity at their stores. These regulations are designed to protect both consumers and retailers against fraudulent charges. Not only is EMV compliant technology necessary for retail operations, accepting tap-to-pay payments can help modernize stores on a budget.

3. Rewards programs

While instituting a rewards program with a mobile app seems costly, there are easier ways to add this tech offering without breaking the bank. By partnering with a third-party company that customizes base applications to your business, you’re saving a lot of money that would otherwise be spent developing the basic functions of an app.

Depending on which technology companies you partner with, these apps can include anything from rewards programs to store information. For example, Petrosoft’s QwickServe food ordering system can include an app for customer food orders.

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