Lula Convenience has added more point-of-sale (POS) and inventory-management apps to its integrated platform for convenience stores to allow for digital ordering and delivery.
The company has announced new partners for its Lula Store Platform to help convenience stores fulfill orders, including those placed online for delivery or in-store pickup.
The Lula Store Platform now works with Alberta POS, Aboveo, ADD Systems, PDI C-store Essentials/Pro, ERPLY, Modisoft, Clover, Square and SSCS Inc. the company said. It previously announced a partnership with Passport.
“Every store we work with has at least one of these,” said Tom Falzani, co-founder and chief product officer. “The biggest piece for these integrations is being able to push your inventory instantly.”
The goal is to add a new revenue channel and expanded online presence for convenience stores. “It’s really tough for these merchants, especially small ones to get online. As you can imagine, these merchants have thousands of items,” Falzani said.
The Lula Store Platform helps retailers connect with delivery systems such as Door Dash and Uber Eats, Delivery.com and ASAP. The tools integrated on the platform simplify inventory management, pricing and delivery logistics. By using the platform, retailers save time and avoid having to duplicate efforts, such as inputting inventory changes in more than one application. “This allows them not to have to do redundant work, having to add each item to each platform three times. If they go the route of working with each one independently, they’re not going to get the integration of these tools,” Falzani said.
Lula Convenience charges a monthly fee of $100 to $150, depending on how many sites a retailer has. “Our goal is to make sure they’re profitable at the end of the month,” Falzani said. “We’re going to take all of your inventory and the items that aren’t moving, and we have the opportunity to sell online. It becomes more of a fulfillment center.”
When Lula Convenience, previously called Lula Delivery, first explored ways to input inventory for online sales, it recognized the tedious nature of adding information was a barrier for many c-store operators who didn’t have the time. “Adding a picture three times, a price three times, it was a struggle and a big barrier for entry,” he said.
Lula’s platform syncs the retailers’ inventory data with the delivery options and other back-office tools providing immediate price changes and out-of-stock alerts. “As you know, prices change daily,” Falzani said.
“Stock is changing. We have to take into consideration what’s happening in the store,” he said. By automating the process behind the scenes, retailers “can get back to picking and packing orders as they come in,” he said.
Lula Convenience is inviting other tech companies providing POS and back-office functions to find a spot on its Lula Store Platform.
The platform is designed to make convenient stores more efficient and more profitable, by cleaning up fulfillment data and improving customer satisfaction. “How people shop online is not the same as they shop in store,” Falzani said. “We might be moving inventory that isn’t selling in the store,” he said. Product categories like ice cream and alcohol are seeing growth with a delivery option. “In some states, we offer merchants a way to list their alcohol and liquor items online and have it delivered to the doorstep. That’s been a really big one for us.”
Falzani and co-founder Adit Gupta, both Drexel University graduates, started Lula Convenience in 2020 after Gupta’s family shuttered a New Jersey convenience store during the pandemic and they attempted to move the store’s merchandise online without success, the company said.
The company strives to turn c-stores into “micro fulfillment centers” by making it easier for them to work with delivery companies. Lula developed its Lula Store Platform as a 30-minute delivery solution for c-stores that don’t have their own existing secondary sales channel.
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