[:en]4 Top Challenges Facing C-Stores in 2019[:]

[:en]How’re you going to win more market share in an already highly competitive c-store market?

Zynstra decided to do a study of c-stores with 20 to 500 or more locations and revenue of $10 million to $999 million to find out.

And here’s what they learned:

1. C-Stores Know They Must Improve Convenience, But…

C-store owners fully recognize they need to offer home delivery, faster checkout experiences, and quick at-the-pump payment.

However, the barriers to implementation include cost and difficulty expanding current tech to meet peak demand during high sales volume hours of the day.

Plus, current technological solutions in place already are expensive to maintain.

So therefore, the report concluded, the main consideration of c-store managers was to figure out how to reduce IT and operational costs.

And managers may not even be responsible for the solution because it’s complex to figure out. This may require consulting help.

2. Fear of Amazon Go

Amazon plants to open 3,000 or more convenience stores without any cashiers within the next 3 years.

That would instantly make them one of the largest players in the c-store space.

Amazon Go isn’t a behemoth which can’t be overcome, however.

C-store managers believe scan-and-go technology, ordering online and picking up in-store, using a mobile payment app, and ordering at the pump could help them compete.

Mobile POS tablets and in-aisle POS kiosks were also identified as potential competitive solutions.

3. Simplifying IT Management

C-store managers don’t have a centralized way to manage all of their technological services. This drives them mad.

They simply have too much to manage and it changes too fast.

Frequently, c-store managers find themselves having to upgrade legacy technology just so they can continue to get technical support (with no real additional value provided by the upgrade).

4. Customer Demand on Technology to Improve Convenience

Driving many of these issues is customer demand for convenience. If your c-store can’t manage to adapt profitably, you’re in trouble in the years ahead.

It’s not an easy market. So, you may need to find a consulting company to help you change and adapt.

None of these competing challenges are easily solved. But if you can meet the demands of the market, you put yourself in a comfortable position going forward.

You can also read the full white paper from Zynstra here.[:]