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    Technology Trends for 2017

    Sixty-four percent of c-store owners have labeled new store concepts as a strategic priority for 2017[i]. With innovation around every corner owners are striving to balance an improved shopping experience with expanded offerings. Some of these offerings could include innovative ideas like remote-controlled POS systems, digital fuel sign software, or interactive fuel pumps. With current technology trends like these, consider upgrading to enhance your customer’s experience in 2017.

    Innovative POS Systems

    With the newest payment systems comes more control over your business. Although you are not always in your store, promotions and prices need to be altered daily. With remote-control options, you can now make these important changes and retrieve store and customer data from home[ii]. This will save you money and allow you some more time to do other things you need to in the long-term by cutting out unnecessary trips back and forth on days you are not working. With new POS terminals that are EMV compatible, you can help reduce liability for fraudulent transactions and chances of chargebacks[iii]”.  The overall functionality of these new advanced systems make every aspect of running your store easier, from flexible receipt design to clocking out at the end of the day.

    Digital Sign Software

    One of the biggest hassles with running a c-store is having to manually change your gas prices. This is especially tedious when the weather makes going outside unpleasant. With an LED fuel price sign, adjusting prices is now easier, faster, more efficient than ever before. Not only can you change this from inside the store on a handheld device, but you can adjust prices remotely from your home computer with easy to install and use software[iv]. You can also utilize the feedback feature that sends you an e-mail or text alert, which ensures the price sign is functioning properly and always displaying the correct price. Always being aware and having up-to-date fuel prices can ultimately improve and stabilize your fuel sales.

    Fuel Pumps That Entertain

    The newest fuel pumps now come with unique and never-before-seen features. These high-tech pumps are equipped with a touchscreen that guides customers through an array of entertainment options. The technology uses interactive technology to audibly greet customers when they approach the pump. This friendly service will especially appeal to the anti-social customer who values good service, but does not like personal interaction. After they are greeted they will be able to choose from a variety of entertainment options:

    • Listen to a music station on a selected music platform
    • Record a video e-card to share on their social media giving you more exposure
    • Play a trivia game to test out their musical knowledge

    When they finish, they can then text themselves the content they created while at the pump, a link to the music station, or future discounts. This ensures that the customer will come back to receive their discount or to rock on with another great music station. A marketing officer for a large fueling company stated, “we believe this technology could change the way people think about the typical fill-up and give consumers another reason to visit our stations[v].”

    2017 will offer c-store owners the opportunity to innovate in many ways.  Don’t just wait for the first of the year to start investing in upgrades and improvements, and don’t stop after the first quarter.  Keeping innovation as a top priority is key in maintaining a store that consumers will consistently come back to.