CHICAGO — Over the past few months, many c-stores have been upping their digital game on a large scale.
Whether it’s consumer-facing mobile apps or back-office improvements, chains are making across-the-board changes. This trend is separate from tests or initial offerings limited to one unit or market. More retailers are implementing changes across their entire business, from innovative delivery technology to back-office improvements and employee-facing tools.
Click through to read about eight chains making companywide moves to update their digital capabilities …
7-Eleven has not kept its digital transformation a secret. The Irving, Texas-based chain has been making big moves digitally since it launched its delivery test in Dallas in late 2017.
The new 7Now Pins feature marks a significant step in the chain’s delivery capabilities. The update expands 7-Eleven’s delivery destinations to thousands of additional locations that may not have a public location or traditional address. This allows users to order and receive 7-Eleven products from most anywhere. The only other major foodservice provider with a similar delivery option is Domino’s, the pizza chain that bills itself as a technology company.
These days, a welcoming online presence is just as important as an inviting storefront. As such, Casey’s talked to customers in every state where it has locations to find out what would best streamline the online ordering experience. The chain then released an updated website in May followed by a mobile app relaunch in June.
The website gives customers the option to pay online and offers more pizza customization offers. Also, after a user identifies their favorite pizza and ordering specifics, they can order a pizza in as few as three taps of their phone, according to Art Sebastian, Casey’s vice president of digital experience.
High’s recently adopted Skip, the mobile-based checkout app that allows customers to bypass the checkout line and scan items individually as they grab them. But High’s isn’t stopping there.
“Skip Frictionless Checkout is a key first piece in our digital platform moving forward,” said Noah Sanders, High's senior analytics and implementation manager. “It will enhance our customers’ in-store experience along with the reboot of the High’s loyalty program and mobile app, coming soon.”
Enmarket completed its own rollout of Skip Checkout to each of its locations earlier this year. With 124 locations, Enmarket is the largest chain to have adopted Skip. The move indicates Enmarket’s broader strategy of easing traffic throughout its stores.
“Even people who don’t use the app will benefit because this will speed up lines and enable our employees to work on even further improving the customer experience,” said Brett Giesick, president of Enmarket.
- Savannah, Ga.-based Enmarket is No. 75 on CSP’s 2018 Top 202 ranking of c-store chains by total number of company-owned retail outlets.
Nouria Energy’s adoption of a cloud-based point-of-sale (POS) data platform points to the chain’s forward vision in a world in which big data is increasingly important. The program combines the data-gathering capabilities of analytics firm SwiftIQ with the online security of Acumera. The two firms have also brought in Conexxus to include older data sets in the program’s analysis. Together, these suppliers have allowed Nouria to import and access a great deal of POS data, giving the chain valuable intelligence faster.
With industry turnover for c-store associates sitting at 118% according to NACS, retaining employees is both urgent and difficult. Parker’s is turning to technology to ease the burden. The chain recently went live with DailyPay, an online tool that enables employees to get paid when they need money, without having to wait for a traditional biweekly or monthly payday.
Parker’s already provides free financial counseling services and financial wellness classes for team members. Adopting DailyPay is the digital-focused way of expanding the chain’s focus on its employees’ financial well-being.
GPM’s move to offer the PayActiv financial program to its employees is similar to Parker’s adoption of DailyPay. The difference is that PayActiv allows employees to access up to 50% of their earned pay for a flat fee via a website and mobile app, regardless of whether they have a bank account. Employees can opt to load the money onto a prepaid card or to withdraw cash. The program has more than 1,000 users who have collectively accessed more than $1 million of their already-earned wages, according to the retailer.
Cumberland Farms recently expanded upon its SmartPay Check-Link Business payment program with a substantial payment and loyalty update. The Check-Link program now expands to any customer—not just fleets managed by businesses—allowing anyone to save 10 cents a gallon on gas every day.
Simultaneously, Cumberland Farms also implemented a coffee subscription program. For $25, participants can receive up to two cups of coffee every day. The program also includes hot chocolate, hot tea, regular cappuccino and new Mocha Frozen Cold Brew.