Grab-and-go consumers are the direct-hit target market for C-stores. Always have been and always will be. But the industry hasn’t exactly been at the forefront of retail technology and customer experience. That’s now changing at a rapid clip. C-Stores have been enlarging their stores and carrying more prepared food items than just a slice of greasy pizza. Premium coffee in the morning and a fresh take-home meal are now standard fare at an increasing number of shops. C-stores are now serious competitors for QSRs, fast casual restaurants—and yes, even grocery stores.
So it’s no surprise that regional and national C-store chains are using mobile technology both for customers and store operations as well. A while back, Mercator identified C-stores as a sweet spot for mobile apps that integrate features such payments, loyalty, and target marketing. Expect to see this vertical in the forefront of digital strategy that aims to cater to evolving consumer wants for convenience and customization in their shopping behavior.
The referenced Convenience Stores News article is excerpted below:
As technology advances, improved hardware can make a big difference in retail performance, but equally critical — or potentially even more important — is data and how it is used.
“Disruptions are coming at the c-store industry everywhere you look,” Kimberly Otocki, content marketing specialist for Paytronix, said during a recent webinar presented by the company, titled “How 7-Eleven Is Changing the Game…Again.”
The primary goal of 7-Eleven’s digital strategy is to expand customer interactions beyond the four walls of the store and the forecourt. Customer data is the key to customer engagement, used as the foundation for how 7-Eleven communicates with customers, how it gets them to return and how it keeps their loyalty, according to the webinar. Smartphones and mobile devices offer multiple paths to mobile engagement, including push and pull messages, customer surveys, mobile-responsive emails and geofencing.
Overview by Raymond Pucci, Director, Merchant Servies at Mercator Advisory Group