As our industry changes and evolves with new opportunities and challenges, so must retailers and those who serve them. Keeping up with new trends, emerging demographics, transitioning resources and technological advances requires continued engagement with industry leaders and organizations that are mapping how the future is affecting the convenience store industry.
Continuing our commitment to payment speed, security and innovation, Pinnacle recently announced the launch of its Mobile Payment solution on the Affiniti™ Consumer Mobile app. This feature works in concert with Zipline (formerly NPC/NPCA), to process mobile payments as an ACH transaction.
Foodservice has come a long way since the introduction of the hot dog roller grill to become a mainstay of the convenience store experience. What started out as a transition to prepared foods and away from small deli counters has become the highest profit margin category for retailers—beating out traditional products like tobacco and alcohol. Capitalizing on this evolving trend is necessary for convenience stores to stay competitive.
This year, through our attendance at NACS State of the Industry, the Conexxus Annual Conference and our own Summit 2017, Pinnacle gained valuable insight into what the coming year and beyond will hold for our industry and the economy as a whole. We learned about how consumers are changing how they interact with retailers and how the online experience has moved into the stores themselves. We discovered how the new ‘mobile millennial’ is bringing new technology and innovations to the market – and changing the way promotions are effective. Additionally, new security threats, payment challenges and the labor ‘crunch’ are playing a crucial role in how Pinnacle meets and exceeds the needs of our industry- and innovates for the future.
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 the subject of many studies and is 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?
Pinnacle's annual user conference, Summit, is in less than 2 weeks! Summit 2017 promises to be an exciting and informative experience for all involved- bringing together clients from around the country and valued industry partners across the spectrum- into a group environment that promotes best practices, collaboration and future innovation.
Last week, Pinnacle team members attended the Conexxus Annual Conference in Annapolis, Maryland. Conexxus is a non-profit, member-driven technology organization dedicated to the development and implementation of standards, technologies innovation and advocacy for the convenience store and petroleum market.
According to NACS State of the Industry 2017, promotional awareness in store has continued a steady decline- from 33.9% in 2012 to 17% in 2016. In order to drive profits and increase customer engagement, retailers need to be proactive in promotions- reaching out to customers outside the store and in their daily life.
Several years ago, Lynch Oil deployed Pinnacle's fully integrated Palm POS and Loyalty Rewards suite of products. As their loyalty program grew more and more successful, Lynch looked for ways to extend offers and promotions to their consumers via mobile -driving traffic, increasing spend, and communicating with them in the most effective way possible. With their Mr. Gas mobile app, built on the Pinnacle Affiniti mobile platform, Lynch Oil is able to influence their consumers' behavior and drive store traffic in ways they had not been able before.