Technology/Services

How mobile-accessible technologies keep sales high—and retailers competitive

Photograph: Shutterstock

The pandemic fast-tracked retailers in countless industries on the path to adopting and expanding their mobile-accessible technologies—and convenience stores were no exception.

For everything from loyalty programs to contactless ordering and payments and more, mobile-friendly features have become a consumer expectation rather than just an added convenience. And these features aren’t just helpful for consumers—they’ve become increasingly crucial to retailers, too.

Consumers turn to tech

Mobile solutions continue to play an indispensable role in bolstering c-store sales amid nonstop changes to consumer shopping habits, especially for the foodservice category. Technomic’s2020 Foodservice Technology Consumer Trend Report found that consumers are drawn to mobile apps that not only process orders and payments, but also offer other enhanced functionalities as well. For this, Technomic’s recommendation for foodservice operators is to work with technology partners to deploy new features and rewards linked to loyalty programs—and c-stores can likely benefit by doing the same.

Loyalty programs, while offering c-stores a way to retain their customers and boost customer satisfaction, also play a role among other mobile-accessible technologies in keeping retailers plugged into their consumers’ needs and habits. Technomic’s March 2021 C-Store Monitor recommends retailers prioritize implementing tech tools that measure consumer behavior and feedback at the location level—capturing insights that could otherwise be lost if consumers ordered through a third-party app.

Data insights are important not only to informing key strategies to drive traffic and boost sales, but also to tailoring each shopper’s experience to their individual needs and increasing customer satisfaction overall. Personalization can help give a retailer a leg up in customer conversion and retention—bolstering increased sales in the long run.

Solutions keep retailers competitive

Leveraging mobile-accessible systems can be easier said than done for retailers of all sizes. Some common barriers to entry can impede retailers from offering the loyalty apps, mobile payments and other tech solutions their consumers have come to expect and prefer. So how can c-stores avert these obstacles and remain competitive?

For retailers looking to enter the mobile-friendly space or to improve solutions they already have, Core-Mark addresses some of the most prohibitive barriers to entry. Core-Mark absorbs costs retailers would otherwise have to shoulder themselves and, in partnership with software provider PDI, handles many aspects of program management. This means that offering loyalty programs can be affordable and simple for retailers looking for ways to expand and improve their technology offerings.

Another key partnership is between Core-Mark and Skip—a forefront provider for contactless mobile checkout technologies. Core-Mark is the exclusive distributor partner in the wholesale channel for Skip, offering retailers access to Skip’s mobile payment and checkout system. This enables c-store shoppers to use the Skip mobile app to scan and pay for their items in-store—removing the need to wait in the checkout line altogether—and allows shoppers to order and pay remotely for pickup as well.

With solutions from Core-Mark, retailers of all size can offer the convenient technologies that keep customers coming back while capturing the robust data insights they need to boost sales in the future. To learn more about game-changing solutions from Core-Mark, click here.

This post is sponsored by Core-Mark

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