Are You Ready to Play a New Game?
In the October issue of Convenience Store News, our editorial team presents eight developments we think will redefine the future of convenience and fuel retailing in the United States.
But are c-store retailers ready to meet the challenges of these game changers?
It appears that some are already trying to evolve. Nearly two-thirds of the c-store technology executives surveyed in the 2019 CSNews Technology Study said their technology budget spending increased in the past year.
In the past couple of months, we’ve posted numerous stories on CSNews.com about the lengths c-store retailers are going to in order to meet the challenges of the future. Some examples of how retailers are investing in technology in various ways include:
- Alimentation Couche-Tard has implemented new digital and loyalty solutions, including its Lift upselling program and newly launched Easy Pay rewards program. Easy Pay has been rolled out to all of its U.S. Circle K network with the exception of Holiday Stationstores, which are expected to come onboard shortly. Lift, the in-store upsell tool, is in almost 5,750 of its U.S. stores and is beginning to be deployed in Canada. The retailer is also piloting one-hour home delivery from more than 160 stores in the Houston area.
- Meanwhile, 7-Eleven is using modern workplace solutions, data services and devices from Microsoft to empower its field employees and provide better insight to the company’s franchisees. The nation’s largest c-store chain is equipping field employees with Microsoft Surface devices to provide franchisees with insight from corporate into their store’s performance, purchase trends and other data.
- Chevron Corp. continues to enhance its payment options. The Chevron and Texaco mobile apps now include the Chevron and Texaco eGift Card. This new digital payment solution enables consumers to pay for fuel and car washes at the dispenser with their mobile phones. They can also link physical Chevron and Texaco gift cards to their app user accounts.
- Russell’s Convenience joined the growing bandwagon of c-store retailers implementing frictionless checkout. In late August, it began rolling out a “Scan & Go” mobile checkout app to all 19 of its Denver sites. The technology enables Russell’s to reach customers directly to inform them of deals and in-store promotions, improving both the satisfaction and frequency of shopping trips.
And there are so many more examples of c-store retailers investing to meet the challenges of the future. My only question is: What is the other one-third that didn’t increase their tech spending waiting for?