News Feature | March 12, 2014

Grocery And Convenience Store IT News For VARs — March 12, 2014

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By Anna Rose Welch, Director, Cell & Gene Collaborative
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Grocery C Store IT News For VARs

A General Mills Convenience and Foodservice survey shows convenience stores are lagging behind other channels in digital connections. In other news, a study shows mobile management has not kept up with SMBs’ adoption of mobile apps and solutions.

C-Stores’ Digital Connections Disappoint

Convenience Store Decisions discusses the findings of a recent General Mills Convenience and Foodservice survey. According to the findings, convenience stores are lagging behind other channels in terms of digital connections. While roughly 86 percent of consumers say they receive texts, emails, and other electronic deals from all retailers, only 41 percent are connected to convenience stores digitally. For example, compared to 58 percent of consumers that report visiting a fast food restaurant website, only 30 percent have visited a c-store website. Drug stores are beating c-stores in terms of emails as well, with only 24 percent of consumers receiving emails from c-stores compared to 44 percent from drugstores. However, consumers say they’ll connect with c-stores to receive coupons, sales/special deals, and updates on new products; to see product offerings; or to locate a nearby store.

End-Users Seek C-Store Deals Via Text, Not App

Convenience Store Decisions also highlights the results of a recent experiment that examined c-store apps from the perspective of an end-user. The end-user in this test found that texting services were their favorite part of interacting with c-stores via mobile — even more so than the c-store app. The goal is to not flood a user’s mailbox with messages; in this case, the user found four texts per month to be a highly satisfactory number to receive. Compared to coupons delivered via apps, text message deals were, according to this particular end-user, the most convenient and worthwhile because they didn’t rely on an Internet connection.

Mobile Management A Key Priority For Your Clients

The VAR Guy discusses some of the needs SMEs have as they are more regularly leveraging mobile solutions. According to research from the SMB Group, mobile management has not kept up with the rapid adoption of mobile apps and solutions in businesses. Security, manageability, ease-of-use, and costs are some of the concerns businesses have about their mobile solutions. Vendors should ensure that applications are user-friendly and well designed to ensure user engagement. A user interface (UI) must be well designed and must be able to keep up with the growth of a business. As Big Data and BYOD create a need for heightened security, data and mobile transactions must be secure to protect a business from organizational or profit damage.

Millennials Get Personal With Brands

New research from Mintel has found that millennials are far more likely than the Baby Boomer generation to sharing personal information with brands. The research found that 60 percent of millennials would be willing to provide details about their personal preferences and habits to marketers. At least 30 percent of millennials who claimed to be less likely to share personal information claimed that they would in fact share after receiving some kind of incentive offer. Only 13 percent of baby boomers could be swayed by these incentives. The types of data millennials are most likely to share include cell phone numbers and social media profiles.

Grocery And Convenience Store IT Talking Points

Convenience Store News takes a closer look at the two primary options for mobile payment technology: NFC and QR code technology.

Progressive Grocer highlights a recent ShopLab and Novartis Consumer Health (NCH) study that used new data-gathering techniques to analyze shoppers’ behavior. Beyond the traditional online survey, the study also utilized a real-time app diary on each respondent’s mobile device and a passive digital monitor. This passively-observed data provided the researchers with “razor sharp accuracy, unlike ‘recalled’ or claimed behavior.” The study uncovered four groups of shoppers and uncovered some of the most popular ways each group uses their phones and apps.

For more news and insights, visit BSMinfo’s Grocery and Convenience Store Tech Center.