Mobile ordering is nothing new, having been implemented by national chains such as Starbucks and Panera Bread. Indeed, dozens of large retails have some form of mobile ordering system, either for delivery or in-store pickup. The C-store industry, however, has been slow to adopt the technology.
How it Works
Built into their existing mobile app, Wawa customers can pre-order food and beverages. To keep orders fresh, however, the food is not made right away. GPS tracking alerts the store when the customer is within a certain distance.
It should come as no surprise that mobile ordering is on the rise. As smartphones continue to integrate into our lives, the food and retail industry has been growing alongside it. Customers using mobile apps, text messages, or the internet to order food has risen by 18%, and It isn’t likely to slow down anytime soon.
That 18% may not sound like a large number. However, that means that online ordering accounted for 1.9 billion orders last year. That IS a large number. It should also come as no surprise that millennials accounted for a large percentage of those orders.
The message should be clear: these statistics are all connected. As smartphone use continues to rise, so will online ordering. Millennials and their younger counterparts will be a driving force towards bringing the C-store trend of mobile ordering into the mainstream.
A Trend That Shows No Sign of Stopping
C-store trends come and go in every industry. Twenty years ago, we were all rushing to provide low-fat food options. Ten years ago, you bought in on low carb. Mobile ordering may seem like a trend, but it’s one that’s hardwired into our society. The smart money says this trend has staying power.
Consider integrating online ordering into your existing website, or building out a mobile app for your loyalty program. Of course, you’ll need a good POS system and back office software to keep everything running smoothly, especially when it comes to inventory management. Integrating online ordering is a big step in your business’ development and without the proper supporting tools you can create a mess in a hurry.
That shouldn’t discourage you, however. Mobile and online services are only going to increase in the coming years. And with large national chains like Wawa showing no signs of abandoning the practice, this is one C-store trend you can count on sticking around.