Blog Series

Tech Trends Create Roadmap for Meeting Consumer Demands

Automation, artificial intelligence and frictionless are in the driver's seat right now.
Melissa Kress
Executive Editor
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Everywhere you look, you see trend reports — the latest in fashion and food being among the most popular. In the convenience channel, what’s seen on the runway in Paris may not be important, but what's being served in restaurants and bistros is.

Even more important for convenience stores on the trend front, however, is what’s next in technology. As IT takes its seat at the table, where it's belonged all along, tech trends are key to staying on top of what consumers expect from the brands they shop.

Although the Omicron surge put a damper on our plans to attend the National Retail Federation’s 2022 show this past January in New York, Convenience Store News Editorial Director Don Longo did connect with some retail technology providers to talk trends. Just a few of the insights he found include:

  • Automation: Jeff Bradbury, senior marketing director of Hughes Network Systems, was impressed with the amount of robotics at the NRF Big Show 2022.
  • Labor Solutions: David Wilkinson, president and general manager of NCR Retail, noted that labor challenges are accelerating self-checkout solutions.
  • Collaborative Efforts: Patrick O’Mara, senior solution principal at RELEX Solutions, pointed to increased collaboration between retailers and suppliers as supply chain woes continue to plague the industry.
  • Ramped-Up Intel: Suresh Menon, senior vice president and general manager at Zebra Technologies, cited artificial intelligence as one of the biggest trends in technology right now.

While all c-store retailers may not be ready to implement the latest and greatest technology innovations, staying abreast of trends is important. They can act as a roadmap to not only meet the needs of today’s customers, but give them what they want tomorrow. 

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