This past year gave the industry time to fully analyze the surplus of data being collected and pinpoint that the market had a concealed opportunity that was waiting to be recognized and unleashed. “Conveniently” ahead of the curve for their market, convenience stores have fully accelerated into offering third-party apps and in-house delivery services all due to COVID-19. In this May article from CSNews, our VP of Strategy and Consulting, Matt Carinio, joins other industry leaders in discussing how convenience stores are mastering the post-pandemic landscape by taking advantage of takeout and delivery strategies.
With delivery options available left and right, c-stores have to decide how to effectively outsource delivery while taking into account the money, time and resources available at hand. While outsourcing delivery has a ton of initial benefits, Carinio points out that c-stores will have to consider their long-term customer journey and evolvement. “The challenge with third-party is that the loyalty between the c-store and their customers goes away and that loyalty relationship is now controlled by the third-party service.”
Outsourcing Drivers Only
In order to solve the challenge Matt recognized, c-stores have even gone to the extent of just outsourcing the driver for delivery so chains can focus on their brand loyalty and customer relationships more. By doing so, brands make more money and own all of the necessary data to remarket to their customers rather than third-parties occupying that data.
Better yet, to ditch outsourcing completely, chains are slowly experimenting with taking the entire delivery process in-house such as the brand, Vroom. Vroom has implemented smart recommendations into their app which are known to drive up revenue dramatically, however, their main obstacle has been a high turnover of drivers due to minimal tips.
Menu & Pricing Best Practices
With so many c-stores making the transition to digital, the article examines how online shoppers and in-person shoppers tend to be purchasing different items. With this knowledge, Carinio believes that it’s best to offer a limited menu online, especially for foodservice, for a variety of reasons. Some of those reasons being, “what food travels well, the operational cost to maintain the digital inventory for specific locations, and packaging.”