Monday, October 5, 2020

Technology Drives Convenience Store Sales


Restaurants success with mobile contactless ordering, pick-up, and marketing helped propel sales so much that grocery stores the ilk of Walmart, Kroger, and Publix have jumped in and consumers adoption of mobile ordering continues to accelerate according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.

Convenience stores need a strong digital strategy to meet new consumer demand and adoption of and for less contact, or even no contact ordering and pick-up according to Johnson

Pepared food is the primary driver of the foodservice category within Convenience stores, generating 47% of the category’s sales industrywide.  Among small operators, prepared food accounts for more than half of the category’s sales at 53%, compared to 38% for large operators.  Johnson added that 83.1% all dinners have at least 1 meal component and 68.4% have two meal components. 

Mike Flebotte, partner at Business Accelerator Team, said during the recent Conexxus 2020 Annual Education and Strategy Conference stated, "Being mobile-friendly is very important at this point,". "So many consumers are looking at mobile devices and trending toward mobile that it is really essential for retailers to have a mobile-friendly web presence."

Millennials matter as the average daily mobile internet usage of millennials aged 25 to 34 was almost four hours. Flebotte continues "Operators focused on appealing to this generation of shoppers really have to make sure their website is responsive across all devices,". 

With a digital marketing strategy geared toward increasing customer visits, Flebotte said there are two ways for c-store retailers to drive visits and sales: sell current customers more and more often, and increase total customer count.

This is important mobile apps drive conversion more so than websites, according to Flebotte. In fact, mobile apps can generate up to 300 percent higher conversion rates than a website. "Operators evaluating the cost to maintain both — responsive website and a separate mobile app — should consider potentially a web app," he said.

Other best practices he offered for developing a digital strategy to drive traffic are:

·         Plan for integration;

·         Have a mobile strategy that enables two-way communication between the customer and the brand;

·         Plan to be flexible;

·         Redefine success; and,

·         Think outside the box.

"Looking outside of your industry for marketing innovation and finding new ways to stand out against your competition is essential," Flebotte said. "As platforms continue to evolve, and shopping behaviors continue to change and shift, it's important for retailers to try to stay ahead of the curve seeking new and innovative ways to leverage technology to more effectively market to customers." Are you looking a customer ahead?

C-stores have an opportunity with mobile commerce, and it starts with registering the consumer and moving him/her into the path to purchase journey, according to fellow Conexxus Conference presenter Don Frieden, CEO and founder of P97, a mobile commerce and digital marketing platform provider. 

Consumers will want more than just mobile ordering.  The opportunity to provide multichannel marketing, such as emails and in-app messaging, to influence the consumer along the journey. And then, step three is to leverage geolocation by having all the retailer's locations in the platform.

Additional steps in the mobile commerce journey, Frieden cited, are:

·         Mobile pay at the pump;

·         Mobile order ahead; and

·         Loyalty rewards and targeted offers. 

The benefits of moving a consumer to mobile are in the numbers, Frieden pointed out. Comparing NACS State of the Industry (SOI) data to P97 data, he cited that the average gallons per transaction based on card-based transactions is approximately 10.8 gallons per SOI's findings vs. an average of 12.2 gallons based on mobile transactions per P97's findings. Are you looking a customer ahead?

Are you ready for some fresh ideations? Do your food marketing ideations look more like yesterday than tomorrow? Interested in learning how our Grocerant Guru® can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization?  Email us at: or visit: us on our social media sites by clicking one of the following links: Facebook,  LinkedIn, or Twitter

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