Why Downtime for C-Stores is So “Inconvenient”
According to the latest Retail Perceptions report, shoppers are ready to see an increase in the use of retail technology. Automation and connectivity have already significantly impacted the C-store market. Now data and analytics are making headlines. Consumers expect personalization, seamless interaction and efficiency in their C-Store shopping experience, and the importance of individual purchase behavior cannot be overlooked.
Remaining competitive in today’s C-Store industry depends on your ability to effectively capture and use data. Initially, analytics helped profitability though real-time inventory, point-of-sale insights and better employee time tracking. Now, this same automated data is being used to motivate regular fuel customers, target consumers in close proximity through social media and create personalized promotions based on the latest trends.
This strategy works great when everything runs smoothly, however, interruptions can always occur. And when they do, every minute of downtime is money down the drain. An experienced IT provider like ICS can help implement proactive measures to predict and address problems before they become major issues.
Here are the top ways that downtime for C-Stores is so “inconvenient:”
1) Inability to accept credit cards – Cash may be king, but not according to most retailers. Studies show that consumers carry and use significantly less cash than they did five years ago, and that number continues to shrink. Imagine all the sales you could lose if you suddenly couldn’t accept credit cards for even a short amount of time.
2) Not being able to get pricing – This seems like such an automatic process but consider what happens when you suddenly can’t scan items because systems are down or you’re not able to contact the home office after hours to verify appropriate pricing.
3) Problems at the pump – If the gas pump can’t communicate with the POS system, this causes an entire array of problems. From dark screens to an inability to pay at the pump, frustration leads to consumers driving away.
4) Inaccurate inventory – The ability to leverage technology for real-time inventory tracking is tremendous. However, when technology glitches cause errors, spoilage of perishable items and inability to meet customer needs due to out of stocks are detrimental to your bottom line.
The team at ICS recently took over managing all the technology for a chain of C-Stores that experienced constant interruptions. Their technology was always up and down and they thought that was normal. There was no round the clock monitoring and no predictable patching. Thirty days after being on board with ICS managed services, their uptime moved to 100%. A solid infrastructure across multiple C-Store locations kept stores up, running, stable and secure. When you take a proactive and preventative approach to maintenance, the downtime goes away and the unpredictability is gone.
You have a C-Store to run. Contact ICS online or call us at 607-757-9551 to learn how we can eliminate technology downtime and make IT work for you.