Welcome to our Koupon News Update series, where we share news and trends that are shaping the convenience store industry! In this week's update, learn about "The Future of Digital Promotions in C-Store" event, Shell's new on-demand fuel service, and Sam's Club's new cashier-less store.
C-Store Retailer Trends
Digital Is Driving the Future of Retail Technology
- The reality is that a massive shift is happening in consumer behavior and because of that shift, retail is undergoing a massive shift, according to Koupon Media's Charlie Lang.
- "You can buy anything on Amazon, and Amazon is just the beginning," Lang, executive vice president of product and marketing at Koupon Media, said at "The Future of Digital Promotions in C-store" event, which took place Oct. 7 during the 2018 NACS Show. The event was sponsored by retail technology companies Koupon Media, GSTV, NCR, Paytronix, Skupos, Stuzo and SwiftIQ.
- To succeed amid this massive shift, c-store operators and consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies must work together — on joint promotions, media platforms and data sharing, to name just a few areas."Small format is the future. The people in this room and at this conference have an advantage, but we have to work together," Lang urged.
- Insight: Koupon Media and the sponsoring partners from "The Future of Digital Promotions in C-Store" all have the same vision — c-stores have a competitive edge in the changing retail landscape.
Choice Market's New Format Will Offer Three Payment Options
- "There's nothing more valuable than our customer's time and we are really excited to offer this new format which allows them to combine several different shopping occasions in one stop, while providing them the option to skip the checkout process all together," said Mike Fogarty, founder and CEO of Choice Market. "If customers cannot make it to the store, we will deliver any of our products to their doorstep within 45 minutes. That is true convenience."
- "Real convenience is what Choice Market is doing using our technology — offering their customers a truly automated experience," said Ava Retail CEO Atul Hirpara. "Retail is undergoing a major transformation. With the power of Ava's technology, Choice Market is pioneering this transformation."
- Insight: Choice Market is giving shoppers seamless and flexible checkout methods.
Uber to Deliver Food by Drone in 2021
- Uber is searching for a new executive to help launch a drone food delivery program. Uber plans to set up the program, called UberExpress, under its UberEats umbrella next year and will make full commercial service available in 2021.
- “It’s my personal belief that a key to solving urban mobility is flying burgers, in any city,” said Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi at the company’s Uber Elevate Summit event in May. According to USA Today, Khosrowshahi also noted that the company was one of the few chosen to participate in the U.S. Transportation Department’s commercial drone-operations pilot program in San Diego.
- Insight: The world's largest technology companies are looking for ways to increase convenience using cutting edge technology.
Shell Pilots On-demand Fueling in Houston
- The U.S. pilot program will offer the service first to Shell workers before expanding to other companies for fill-ups in company parking lots. Eventually, Shell TapUp will allow any consumer access to the program for fill-ups while shopping or dining out. Shell says the service won’t make house calls, but will focus on servicing larger volumes in parking garages or lots.
- “We are here to offer choices to our customers,” said Istvan Kapitany, executive vice president of global retail for Shell, which has more than 14,000 U.S. gas stations.
- Insight: As some of the largest fuel companies start to explore new methods of reaching customers, c-stores should continue to leverage digital solutions to bring value to shoppers.
Walmart-owned Sam’s Club is opening a cashier-less store in Texas
- Sam’s Club — the members-only, Walmart-owned retail store — is taking a page from Amazon’s playbook by opening an experimental cashier-less “Sam’s Club Now” store in Texas. In a blog post announcing the news, CEO Jamie Iannone said that the new store is “very close to opening,” and it will serve as the “epicenter of innovation for Sam’s Club.”
- Despite doing away with traditional cashiers, Sam’s Club Now isn’t quite as automated as the high-tech Amazon Go locations. Users will use a new Sam’s Club Now app to scan their items as they walk through the store, and there will be a final scan from a staff member as you exit to complete your purchase. It’s almost like turning the entire store into a continuous self-checkout stand.
- Insight: Amazon Go and Skip have started a new generation of checkout — large format stores are looking for ways to stay innovative as the retail landscape changes.
CVS rolls out Apple Pay
- Pharmacy retailer CVS has started to accept Apple Pay for payment in its stores nationwide, months after a statement from Apple CEO Tim Cook suggested a rollout was in the works, according to MacRumors.
- CVS’s acceptance of Apple Pay follows the announcement last month that 7-Eleven accepts both Apple Pay and Google Pay. Costco embraced the Apple mobile wallet option in August.
- Insight: Shoppers are going mobile, and retailers that were previously lagging behind have started to accept the new standard in mobile payment.