You are likely to hear about new and innovative mobile payment options. Mobile payments are all over the news, and are now being advertised at many national retail stores. Loyalty programs are adding mobile options, and you may start to wonder: Should you jump on the bandwagon? That depends on how mobile fits into your overall strategy. At the very least, you need some facts to make an informed decision. With so many options, and such a diverse landscape of mobile platforms, the choices can be inundating. All of these may be appealing to you for different reasons, and you may want to consider implementing one or more of them in your business.
We live in a mobile world. Bank accounts, shopping, directions to a new restaurant, car services and even your social network all rest in the palm of your hand. Shouldn’t you have the same ability to manage your business while on-the-go, and integrate your work life with your mobile life? Pinnacle’s Mobile Platform provides all of the configuration and management tools you need to get started with your own branded mobile app, eliminating the time and expense of going through a third party.
Millennials – Who Are They? If you are like most retailers, you invest a lot of time and money in building a loyal customer base, and as part of that effort you are trying to understand and target the up and coming Millennial generation. Millennials are typically defined as those born between 1980 and 2000, although some studies make them a bit older or younger. This means they range in age from teenagers to early 30-somethings. This group is subject of many studies and are on pace to be the most studied demographic in history, behind the Boomers who have been studied for decades. Everyone is trying to figure them out. Why? According to a 2012 study this group already represents $200 billion of direct purchasing power and has influence over $500 billion of indirect spending, primarily because teens and young adults who are living at home influence the purchasing habits of their Baby Boomer parents (source: U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation). Since the youngest members of the group are yet to enter the workforce, the prime earning timeframe for this group is still years away, which means collectively the group represents an important part of our future economy and cannot be ignored. Millennials’ annual spending is expected to reach $2.45 trillion by 2015 (source: Deloitte). Clearly understanding and finding ways to appeal to this important demographic deserves a closer look.
With over 700 stores in 11 states, there is a decent chance QT is in your neighborhood. They have a familiar name, their customer base is large, and their customers and employees love them. They, or someone like them, are very likely your competitor, and you have to figure out how to beat them at their own game. What is their game? Their pricing is good, but your pricing is competitive. The merchandise and foodservice they sell is comparable to yours. They have a loyalty program, but you may have a loyalty program as well.
Being competitive in the c-store industry requires attention to all areas of the business. Keeping store managers and area managers well informed of store and company performance empowers them to keep their stores in better running order. In other words, being competitive as a company starts at the store level.
Perhaps you’ve been in a large metropolitan area, close to an event that is just letting out, only to see millennials on the sidewalk on their smartphones. Chances are, they’re waiting for an Uber or a Lyft, the two most popular ridesharing companies in the country. Those in the 16-34 age range who live in metropolitan areas are the most frequent ridesharing users. What do their habits mean for c-store owners, in particular, their means of payment and ridesharing habits?
A mainstay of the convenience store experience, foodservice has come a long way since the introduction of the hot dog roller grill. Getting the most from foodservice requires tracking inventory data to mitigate loss from shrink, spoilage, and staleness during slow sales times—while using that data to forecast labor upticks and staffing cycles. The following will demonstrate how Pinnacle solutions can give you the competitive advantage in this realm.
There is a growing trend toward selfserve, quick-serve and interactive content in the convenience retail market. These solutions range from fast food kiosks to forecourt merchandising, and more. From a food service perspective, Palm Kiosks offer several advantages over traditional cashier-attended POS stations.
Managing adequate inventory levels and shrink are two critical and sometimes invisible components of any successful convenience store. If not managed well, companies may be ‘leaving money on the table’ regarding inventory. More importantly, their customers- the consumer who is relied upon for all profitability- will find these seemingly invisible components very visible. Without loyal clients’ preferred products in-stock, those consumers will leave unhappy- perhaps never coming back. And, with multiple social media outlets at their fingertips today, customers aren’t hesitant being extremely vocal about their experience!