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The Future C-Store

In a day and age where technology constantly changes and improves the greatest competitive advantage is to be technologically ahead of everyone else. New store openings such as Amazon Go, a new cashier-less convenience store in Seattle that uses artificial intelligence and sensors to track which items consumers take off shelves, are changing the way industry leaders are looking at the future of C-Stores.

A recent study done by Euromonitor International partnered with Emerson Commercial identified four digital trends that will reshape the future of c-stores. These are:

  • Evolution at the checkout;
  • Inventory and management;
  • Mobile opportunities;
  • Artificial intelligence shaping the shopping experience.

The evolution of quick and seamless checkout system will continue to be the industries main focus until it becomes a truly seamless process. Zandi Brehmer head of client innovation at Euromonitor International stated in a recent interview that “The longer term vision is no checkout,” when asked the direction of C-Stores. With mobile payment options continuing to grow, C-Stores must adapt accordingly and become mobile payment friendly. Customers, especially tech savvy customers, will respond by using these payment methods in your store over going to another store and paying with card or cash.

Recent studies have shown that 78% of U.S. millennials would rather spend money on desirable experiences than on the material products.

Though convenience is the industry’s main calling card, customer relationships in the community served are just as important to the future of C-Stores. Driven by continually changing consumer expectations and the new age digital revolution, C-Store operators are implementing new strategies to stay competitive and keep their customers engaged. As product offerings become more and more interchangeable, C-Store operators are recognizing that it’s the shopping experience that will give one retailer a competitive advantage over the next. Recent studies have shown that 78% of U.S. millennials would rather spend money on desirable experiences than on material products.

More efficient and accurate inventory management will also become a large part of a successful C-Store in the future. Not only will new technology enable C-Stores to track inventory, but also to learn who’s buying what products. Real time tracking on inventory allows C-Stores to learn about their customer and tailor the store experience better to the community they serve.

How Can PFI  Help?

At PFI we can help create the store of the future today. With inventory systems such as our Stockmaster® system, inventory is as easy as ever to keep track of, restock, and keep a clean uniform look while doing so. Our Intelli-System™ shelving system for the walk-in in cooler allows for all sorts of product packaging to find its way to the front of a cooler all while giving a uniform and clean look to your store

Reach out today and speak with a sales rep to see how these capabilities can help create the store of the future today!