Convenience store retailers who want to introduce mobile ordering should begin by remembering why they got into retailing in the first place.
Convenience stores are all about convenience. So is mobile ordering, which gives people the ability to access information, shop, place orders and pay at any time. By the time they actually enter the store to pick up their merchandise, they are free to be persuaded to buy an array of impulse items.
Beyond the convenience factor, mobile ordering can be economical and customizable, and it builds customer loyalty. Offering mobile ordering through your app can provide numerous opportunities to offer coupons, promotions or rewards to customers, which can lead to an uptick in repeat business. Customers are also increasingly looking for touchless options, which many view as more hygienic since the pandemic.
If you’re c-store chain is interested in adding mobile ordering, start by setting up an app and a dashboard. Then generate and customize the store’s product listings. Make sure the menu is straightforward and simple to navigate and that options are easy to select.
Some point-of-sale (POS) companies offer third-party generic mobile apps for online ordering, as well as the opportunity to customize them. An application programming interface (API) is used to integrate your mobile app with your POS.
Add to the benefits by asking customers for their personal information when they order, and build a database so you can better target offers.
Last year, 7-Eleven rolled out its 7NOW Gold Pass subscription delivery service, which gives members the ability to sidestep delivery fees on over 3,000 food products ordered on the app. The subscription service costs $5.95 and gives members some free products as well as double points on the 7Rewards loyalty app.
The customer can also scan a QR code to open an online menu and pay securely online using the wallet on their phone or by entering card details.
Another indispensable ingredient in a successful mobile-ordering system is telling customers about it. The availability of so convenient a system should be marketed aggressively in-store — which means that in addition to signage, store staffers should be tutored on the fine points and instructed to begin conversations and answer questions about it. Also, use email, embed links on social media and provide background in website blog posts.