As we near the beginning of 2023 we thought it would be fun to take a look a littler farther into the future than simply examining the C Store Industry Trends that seem to be right at our front door. Without a doubt Four Seasons Distributing always wants to suggest to you the convenience store products that will increase your profits in the near term, but we also know that it can be interesting and maybe even a little scary to think about what is a bit farther down the road.
Let’s take a look into several industry crystal balls and have a little fun thinking about the shape of the convenience store several years down the road. Our goal is that by considering some of the changes that may be coming down the pike, we might better get ideas of how to optimize our marketing game plan to be ready for whatever the future might bring to the c-store industry.
Examining Convenience Store Trends: Considering C Store Possibilities
We’ve already brought you some convenience store marketing ideas including: customer loyalty programs, tapping into social media and even arranging your store for optimal sales. And let us just state for the record very quickly that capturing your audience through the marketing opportunities offered on the internet are no longer considered “futuristic.” If you haven’t started yet, you should get going right now.
And now, let’s look at the future of convenience retail…
Ordering Online from Your Local Convenience Store
During the Covid pandemic more and more traditional stores and restaurants and even fast food restaurants began climbing aboard the technology allowing for delivery and curbside pickup. However, we couldn’t help but notice that ironically convenience stores – probably due to their need to schedule small crews – missed out.
We’re already witnessing large store chains such as 7-Eleven getting on board this trend. How would it look for your convenience store to offer home delivery, mobile order or pre-payment for curbside pickup options?
Electric Vehicle Charging
The number of electric vehicles on our national highways and city streets has increased rapidly over the past few years. And the federal government is pushing for faster adoption for the federal and state fleets. It’s a fact that as the number of these cars grows, their need to refuel will increase as well.
The convenience store industry will certainly follow along as this trend continues. Once again 7-Eleven is leading the way with a plan to install fast chargers at over 250 North American locations by the beginning of 2023.
Once again. The future is already here. How might your convenience store keep pace by offering fast charging to electric car-driving customers?
Patron Entertainment Centers
Electric car charging takes time. Even the so-called fast chargers that are being installed at national convenience stores take on average of 20 minutes to an hour. That’s a considerable time for a patron to wait.
Future C Store trends and business models will include converting retail space into customer experience centers offering wifi, device charging and shopping experiences that turn a convenience store visit into a more long term experience.
Your retail stores may take on more of a coffee-shop or even game arcade vibe offering freshly prepared coffee, snacks or VR game experiences while patrons recharge.
Moving Your Convenience Store into the Future
Moving your convenience store into the future might seem overwhelming, but it’s a good idea to at least research the direction that things are moving. Being an early adopter can sometimes bring with it an up-front expense but it can also have benefits that if carefully considered and measured can pay off by having your store lead the pack.
Our hopes are that by embracing future possibilities for convenience store retail models your loyal customers and friends will return again and again for convenience options they can count on.
We wish you luck with the future direction of your Convenience Store and wish to continue to bring you new ideas and fresh insights to the direction of your chosen industry. As always, if there’s ever anything we can do to help, we can always be reached at: (618) 234-1726