The COVID pandemic has changed the retail industry as we know it, with the need for quarantines and social distancing shifting mobile and online shopping into high gear. C-Stores, in particular, have had to adapt their business models from serving customers mainly in-person to serving them through mobile and online services. The shift in consumer demands has made it essential for C-Stores to implement a comprehensive mobile strategy in order to stay relevant for the future.
At Orpak, we’ve seen this shift occur first-hand with many of our clients, which is why we’ve mapped out several crucial ideas to help C-Stores create a successful mobile strategy, and created an all-in-one cloud-based solution to put those ideas into practice.
The Particular Challenges of C-Stores in the Digital Age
C-stores occupy their own unique niche in retail since they were originally designed to serve customers in person. Most C-Stores are adjacent to fuel and service stations, therefore they are inherently connected with the physical need of consumers to fill up their vehicles.
But despite the tendency to serve customers in person, the digital age had slowly been creeping up on C-Stores, even before COVID. Loyalty and rewards programs had become prevalent among larger chains over the past ten years, as well as the use of mobile phones for in-store payment, self-service scanning, and cashierless checkout. But all of these innovations were more of a pleasant perk, not a necessity.
We’ve seen how these perks have now become necessities. If consumers aren’t rewarded for their loyalty at one store or if they’re not given the delivery and payment options that they prefer, they’ll simply go to the next. With trends like frictionless payments and curbside pickup, customers are willing to drive a bit longer for better service.
Why C-stores Should Implement a Mobile Strategy
According to Oberlo, there are currently 6.4 billion smartphone owners worldwide, and 69.4% of them use shopping apps. That’s nearly three-quarters of the entire mobile market, which means that C-Stores that adapt to suit current consumer preferences will widen their audiences and have the potential to increase their bottom line. Essentially, an effective mobile strategy will “future-proof” your business so that you can meet consumer demands and stay relevant.
How a Mobile Strategy Will Benefit Consumers and C-Stores
C-Stores, by their very definition, provide convenience to consumers, and now is a timely opportunity to get ahead of the trend and meet the growing demand for mobile services. Passport X is a comprehensive solution that offers frictionless payment options, self-service kiosks, mobile payments, delivery and/or curbside pickup, loyalty and rewards programs, and an overall enhanced consumer experience.
These options will give your customers the service they crave, and indeed, that they have come to demand: convenience, ease, and personalized experiences.
Those are the benefits that your customers will get when you use a sophisticated mobile solution. On your end, Passport X provides tools for sales promotions, a front and back office solution, data and analytics reports, 360° site management, and increased customer loyalty. All of these tools will lead your business toward one goal: increased revenue.
A Mobile Strategy is a Worthwhile Investment
Adapting your business model to include or expand a mobile strategy might not be an easy move to make, especially considering that it includes a considerable investment of funds upfront.
But statistics show that there has been a steady and significant rise in mobile retail over the past five years, and the trend is expected to continue. An investment now means “future-proofing” your company and staying profitable in the years to come.
Contact us to learn more about Passport X and our cloud-based retail platform for C-Stores.