After a challenging year of unexpected changes and adaptations, many are looking forward to a fresh start in 2021. As retailers are thinking about long-term goals and top priorities, here are a few resolutions every c-store owner and operator should make:
1. Become EMV Compliant
EMV compliance has been a hot topic for years as major credit card companies insist retailers upgrade their point-of-sale (POS) systems to use chip readers or take on the fraud liability themselves. The deadline to comply has been extended to April 1, 2021 after key industry players voiced concerns over the impact of COVID-19 on retailers. A Conexxus survey conducted in June 2020 showed that only 15% of retailers were fully EMV compliant with most retailers lagging in upgrading their outdoor POS systems due to cost and complexity. With the April deadline rapidly approaching, EMV compliance should be priority number one.
2. Stay on Top of Technology Trends
The pandemic forced c-stores to quickly adopt new technologies to keep up with changing regulations and customer needs. CSNews’ Technology Report shows that almost 75% of retailers increased their technology spend from 2019 to 2020, driven in large part by EMV compliance, but also by the need for greater business intelligence and reporting capabilities as well as better store-level inventory management. To jump start 2021, owners and operators should seek software that can organize forecourt data to help them make better business decisions and drive greater profitability. Even though a pandemic accelerated this technology evolution, customers expect an upgraded experience, and you don’t want to fall behind the competition.
3. Move on from Manual Compliance
In the wake of ongoing challenges and the strain COVID-19 has put on the convenience store industry, many retailers have a long list of to-dos and may be facing budget reductions. That’s why retailers should focus on investments that can free-up cash reserves, such as switching to a digital compliance solution. Not only will environmental compliance software streamline processes and allow employees to access data and documents remotely, but Titan Cloud’s compliance solution decreases fuel releases and remediation by 80%, so users can reallocate their environmental reserves for other important projects. Make 2021 the year you commit to a faster, more reliable compliance process.
4. Migrate to Mobile
Mobile apps dominated the industry last year as many retailers created or updated them to include online ordering, delivery, and customer loyalty programs to meet changing customer needs throughout the pandemic. With many customers still wary of venturing indoors, a mobile app offers socially-distanced options to make your customer feel more comfortable visiting your store and facilities, which makes it well worth the investment. Adding a customer loyalty program can also be a great way to attract customers with promotions and retain them with reward programs. Regardless of where you are in the mobile app journey, this is the year to use it to the fullest.
5. Finally Take Control of Wetstock Management
2020 was the year of frictionless: painless shopping, easy mobile payment, and streamlined fueling at the pump. Continue this trend in 2021 by offering a frictionless fueling experience with Titan Cloud’s Perfect Gallon. This comprehensive wetstock management solution helps you reduce runouts, nozzle unavailability, and slow flow – three things that can damage brand reputation and push loyal customers to competitors. Upgrade your wetstock management program this year, so you can offer a customer experience that’s truly frictionless.
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