Consumer Report: Taking Time for Tech

tech ordering trends

Convenience-store customers are plugged in—they’re just not plugged into c-stores.

More than three-quarters of c-store customers overall own a smartphone, with westerners most likely and Midwesterners least likely to have one. But regardless of where they live, surprisingly few use them to engage their local convenience retailer. However, there are opportunities to connect ...

Mobile technology

mobile payment trends

Less than one-fifth of consumers overall have a c-store mobile app on their phone, with Northeasterners most likely and Midwesterners the least likely.

Notably, one-third of consumers overall are interested in paying for foodservice items with a mobile app, led by Northeasterners and Southerners.

Atlanta-based RaceTrac is using its RaceTrac Rewards app to engage customers and improve service, says Will Alexander, vice president of information systems.

“We now have the ability to collect and analyze more consumer data than we have ever had before,” Alexander says. “This increase in external data gives us the ability to provide specialized offers and better understand what our guests are purchasing and why.”

Social media

Social media

Only about one-fifth of consumers connect with c-stores via social media, though younger consumers are more tuned in. Southerners love Facebook, Westerners are partial to Instagram and Northeasterners are Twitter fans. Midwesterners lag in their social-media use, although Facebook is most popular. Consider prioritizing these platforms in your social-media campaigns.

Checkout technology

Self checkouts

More than half of c-store customers say they would use self-service checkouts, led by those in the Northeast and South. More than two-fifths would use touchscreen ordering or payment.

RaceTrac has its eye on driving convenience between employees and guests in 2017, Alexander says. The chain’s tech developments are aimed at increasing employee efficiency on the selling floor and in the back office, in addition to creating a more customized guest experience.

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Continued: Fueling Up the Visit