The Road Ahead For Fuel And Convenience Stores

Issue 15, 2020

The c-store industry has adapted to many disruptive changes in the last few years, ranging from creating new experiential stores for customers and most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic.

As with any retail sector, c-stores need to adapt to consumers' evolving needs and prioritize their strategies to appeal to these new preferences.

As c-store retailers look beyond this year's challenges and prepare for what's up next, here are a few ways advancements in technology and fuel will drive the industry forward.

More than just a pitstop

C-stores are already starting to become more than just places to fuel up and maybe grab a quick drink or snack. Many have now evolved to offer upscale facilities with modern customer experiences. The industry has made major strides to improve its overall value and public perception, and changes in technology have played a big role in this transformation.

In fact, c-store operators have already identified automation, next-level delivery, frictionless checkout and mobile apps as the most promising and profit-driving technologies. As these technologies grow and gain popularity, the c-store shopping experience will focus almost entirely on experiential retail and creating a frictionless customer journey.

To meet customer demands, c-store retailers will have to find ways to make the store as easy, painless and exciting as possible. Shoppers will expect to quickly grab to-go items off the shelf, and retailers have the opportunity to deliver on this by making the point-of-sale speedy and reliable, to eliminate pain points, especially long lines and wait times.

Personalized customer service can also be made possible with valuable shopper data and insights, making it simple to cater orders, deals and recommendations to each individual customer as soon as they walk in the door.

The fight for a more sustainable future in the automotive industry will surely impact the c-store market, and retailers need to be prepared for what’s ahead by continuously innovating and creating new opportunities to excite customers with a frictionless experience — no matter the journey, or the vehicle used to get there.