Retail Disruption Watch (July 2020)
IRVING, Texas — As the coronavirus continues to redefine convenience retail in 2020, 7-Eleven has responded by improving its consumer-facing technology.
The international convenience store chain has leveraged tech to make deliveries more affordable, get stimulus payments to customers faster, reduce physical contact with surfaces and more.
- 7-Eleven is No. 1 on CSP's 2020 Top 202 ranking of c-store chains by number of retail outlets.
Click through for more on 7-Eleven’s digital response to disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic …
Delivery fee waived
State and local stay-at-home orders in the early days of the pandemic put new importance on home delivery. In response, 7-Eleven waived the 7Now app delivery fee from March 25 through April 30.
"7-Eleven is a neighborhood store known for convenience, and we believe it's our responsibility to help shoppers get what they need, where and when they need it, especially during this unprecedented pandemic," said 7-Eleven President and CEO Joe DePinto.
Spread the wealth
In April, 7-Eleven worked with Mastercard to offer prepaid cards to allow unbanked and underbanked individuals to receive their government stimulus funds faster than they would through a paper check.
Customers could purchase the cards in stores or online. The card also worked with a companion mobile app which allows users to track spending, pay bills, upload checks and more.
Later in April, 7-Eleven bolstered its delivery offering by partnering with Postmates and DoorDash nationwide and delivery platform Favor in Texas.
"Expanding the marketplace beyond our stores has been a strategic goal, and these extraordinary times have accelerated our efforts to get the products our customers want and need to them as safely as possible,” said Raghu Mahadevan, vice president of digital and head of delivery for 7-Eleven.
You can't touch this
In June, 7-Eleven piloted a contactless fuel loyalty program in participating stores in North and South Orlando, Fla., north Texas and Woodbridge, Va., in an effort to give customers a way to touch as few surfaces as possible in the forecourt.
The internally-developed technology is used through the 7Rewards loyalty program on the 7-Eleven app. The program is compatible with Apple’s Siri voice controls. The contactless fuel loyalty pilot launched with built-in fuel discounts.
Utah can't touch this
Later in June, 7-Eleven extended its contactless fuel loyalty pilot to stores in Utah.
"Now more than ever, customers are looking for an even greater level of convenience, one that includes minimizing contact with others," said 7-Eleven Chief Digital Officer Tarang Sethia.
Pickup and go
In late July, 7-Eleven enabled an order-ahead and pickup option to the 7Now delivery app.
The new feature allows users to track their order to see when it is ready for pickup. Once they arrive at the store, the user shows a store associate a four-digit code on the app and can then pick up their order.
"The new pickup option on our 7Now delivery app is an example of how we're meeting customer's needs to be in and out of stores quickly with minimal touchpoints and increased physical distancing, while also making life a little easier,” said 7-Eleven COO Chris Tanco.