2017 is said to be the year when c-store owners will have to up their game to cope with shrinking gasoline margin and constantly increasing competition. To build up the pressure even further, consumers are increasingly taking interest in finding out where their money is going, which means that they want to authenticate information to determine whether you are selling high-quality products.
According to expert analysts, many new changes and trends are going to alter the way things are currently done in the convenience store and retail industry. Of all, you definitely can expect to see much more technology adoption.
Check cashing, prepaid phone, and other conventional convenience store amenities have given rise to a new set of services that may cause major retail disruption. In-store bill pay, storage lockers, key making, at-the-pump ordering, and others are now in full swing at many big and small convenience stores. Owners are increasingly adopting unconventional service platforms to encourage consumers to shop in their store.
BOPIS will Gain Traction
Consumers today are interested more than ever in omni-channel shopping experiences. They are looking for ways to move between online and brick-and-mortar environments, adding more convenience to the entire experience. This means retailers will have to focus their efforts on providing better Buy Online, Pick-up In-store (BOPIS) opportunities. It allows the shopper to smoothly transition from online to offline, creating an overall positive experience. Nowadays, consumers increasingly prefer retailers with BOPIS availability over those that don’t offer this added feature.
The benefits of BOPIS are apparent and many – improved customer satisfaction, elevated chances of additional in-store transactions, and purchase of more goods at the brick-and-mortar store upon pickup, to name a few. In 2017, optimizing your c-store with the BOPIS functionality will keep you ahead of the curve.
Globalization will Drive Retail Innovation
Many international players are seen entering the US convenience store and retail industry, such as OXXO from Mexico, Applegreen from Ireland, and several others from South and Central America, with the aim to tap into a completely different market. Not only foreign chains are taking interest in globalization, local c-store giants, like 7-Eleven and Circle K, are well on their way to branch out of the US. Retailers can expect globalization to drive retail innovation, and stem new challenges in capturing foreign market share.
Big Data will Predictive Functionality
Retailers and convenience store owners are likely to utilize and extract valuable information from the vast pools of data from daily operations and transactions in 2017. It will allow them to forecast what to sell, whom to sell, when to sell, and exactly how much. Retail and consumer packaged goods companies are already leveraging from it, and soon leading c-store retailers are going to adopt this technology for developing better understanding of their customers and driving sales.
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