Using Data to Boost Business in Convenience Stores

Photograph: Shutterstock

Industries across the board are utilizing data in various ways to help improve business. Retail, and more specifically, convenience stores, can use data to increase revenue—but how, exactly? 

Retailers need to consider many variables, including managing people, inventory and location, on a daily basis. This requires a quality software program which includes a robust exception management system. Such a program identifies anything outside particular parameters and sends an alert, so c-store retailers can immediately identify issues and address them quickly.

“A business owner should know the expected margin on a particular product,” says Chris Kiernan, Director of Retail Applications at ADD Systems, a tech company whose areas of focus include c-stores. “A software program alerts the user of an issue, so they don’t have to wait till the next inventory period to know something is outside of the boundary which leads to issues such as shrink down the line.”  

Within a convenience store, there’s an ATM, a lottery machine and more. Fraudulent activities—whether via customers, employees, or vendors—can occur when reconciling any of these areas. Data can help c-store owners analyze scenarios and recognize issues.

Due to the labor crunch in the United States, every industry is pressed to use available labor efficiently. C-store owners can turn to data to help best utilize their staff. With data, owners can create traffic maps to identify the number of customers per hour and critical windows of time. This analysis can dictate staffing and ultimately help c-store owners control expenses.

In the past, c-store retailers relied on vendors to determine the amount of product to stock—even though a vendor’s job is to sell their product while an owner’s focus is on having products customers want. Kiernan says, “Sales data can help convenience store owners as they can review what their customers are buying, which will lead to better purchasing.”

With data, retailers can stock the products their customers are demanding, ensuring customer satisfaction and return business because they know they can rely on the store.  Data can also help c-store owners negotiate with vendors. Kiernan says it helps retailers determine ordering patterns. “I know I need to order so much per week, so often per week, and I have that information to justify that conversation with the vendor,” he says.

Providing manufacturers with scan data, an important source of revenue for c-store owners, is simple with ADD Systems’ Atlas Reporting. Kiernan says, “It quickly and easily extracts and formats information in a way that manufacturers want, so c-stores can participate in these programs.” 

Mounds of data that can be sliced and diced in countless ways can be overwhelming. To most productively use data, sets need to be pared down so the most relevant information does not get lost in the shuffle. Atlas Reporting provides dashboards that can be set up based on an individual department’s needs. “We do a walkthrough of the system with each c-store owner to help determine how their particular store can best use the system,” says Kiernan.  

A good software program can help c-store owners reduce fraud, determine labor needs, ensure proper stock counts, provide data for advantageous negotiations with vendors and obtain scan data. No c-store owner should be without the help of data derived from a software program.

About ADD Systems

Since 1973, ADD Systems has been a leading provider of software for the petroleum, propane, wholesale, gasoline and convenience store industries. Their software solutions include ADD Energy E3®  and ADD eStore®  back office solutions, Atlas Reporting®, Raven® and Pegasus® mobile truck computers, and SmartConnect®, a Web services gateway. Visit their web site and learn more at or contact the national sales office at 8009220972.

This post is sponsored by ADD Systems


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