The Digital Gardener
Chief digital officer
7-Eleven Inc., Irving, Texas
Last year was a big one for 7-Eleven. Since the 90-year-old retailer completed the country’s first fully autonomous drone delivery in 2016, 7-Eleven has continued its streak of innovation.
In the past four months, the chain has launched an industry-first chatbot, revamped its rewards program and begun testing an online ordering, delivery and pickup app. These accomplishments are just a sample of the tech-related milestones 7-Eleven has galloped past recently, and the same name appears behind each: Gurmeet Singh.
Singh, 7-Eleven’s chief digital officer, isn’t finished. In a recent interview with CSP, Singh mentioned plans to dive deeper into drone delivery, go further with digital payments and even explore how augmented reality can enhance the customer experience.
Above all, Singh and 7-Eleven are exploring the new definition of convenience in which the physical store is no longer the entire retail experience. “The store plays an important role, but it’s not the whole equation,” said Singh. “We look at the totality of the consumer ecosystem. That’s where our bot, social media and tech dive further.”
While much of the industry is trying to puzzle out how to bring more people into their stores, Singh is looking in the opposite direction. “How can we effortlessly bring
these experiences to customers whenever and wherever they need us?” he says.
Ultimately, Singh is helping 7-Eleven stretch beyond its walls—whether through the belly of a drone or on the screen of a mobile device—and straight to the people.
50%—Amount of Americans who live within 1 mile of a 7-Eleven location