News Feature | May 2, 2014

Grocery and Convenience Store IT News for VARs — May 2, 2014

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

Hospitality IT News for VARs

In the news, the trends toward tiered Wi-Fi service including a courtesy option and toward online ordering continue. Also, an article shows how electronic receipts can benefit your customers as a data collection tool.

Trend Toward Tiered Wi-Fi Continues

According to, TravelCenters of America, operator of the TA and Petro Stopping Centers travel center brands, is now offering courtesy Wi-Fi service in the restaurant dining rooms of 39 locations. In this application, courtesy Wi-Fi is intended for light Internet traffic and Web use during a two-hour time period. Customers who require higher speeds or wish to stay connected for extended periods of time are invited to purchase one of the standard Wi-Fi packages.

Wal-Mart Stores Highlight Online Ordering Trend

According to CSP.Net, Wal-Mart Stores is rolling out a new app for take-out customers. The free Fast to Go application allows users to pre-order deli foods from the new Walmart To Go concept convenience store in Bentonville, AR. Customers have the option of ordering food directly from the in-store deli or they can use the Fast to Go application to pre-order one or more meals, customize their orders, and schedule an in-store pick-up time.

Electronic Receipts Can Be A Data Collection Tool

In other news regarding Wal-Mart Stores, Internet Retailer reports the company’s plans to text electronic receipts to shoppers. The electronic receipts can be a tool to collect data about consumer purchases and send shoppers offers for products they prefer. The data will be mined to provide new services for shoppers. Such services could include providing a customer with a shopping list of items she may want on her next trip to the store or sending coupon for the brands they usually purchase. Gibu Thomas, Wal-Mart’s senior vice president of mobile and digital media, said “It’s like a loyalty program without the loyalty card.”

Harris Teeter Offering Yearly Payment Option For Customers

According to Grocery Headquarters, Harris Teeter has announced a new yearly payment option. In addition to the original payment service introduced in 2000, shoppers can now choose to pay $99.95 for the service annually, allowing them to place an unlimited number of orders throughout the year without incurring additional charges.

Grocery and Convenience Store IT Talking Points

In this article from, Petroleum Convenience Alliance For Technology Stanards (PCATS) director Gray Taylor helps National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) State of the Industry (SOI) Summit attendees understand ways cellphones and convenience stores match up. The article provides some of his insights into the new technologies, such as the fact that the “embedded” customer is in control and that corner stores may lose value in the real world.   

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