Convenience stores, also known as “c-stores,” have become an integral part of modern society, using strategic locations and extended operating hours to become an essential aspect of daily life for most people today. With a US market size of $37.3B at the end of 2022, convenience stores are now entering the race to implement innovative retail technology to take their operations and customer loyalty to the next level.
The Modern-Day Challenges of Convenience Stores
No one in the retail industry is safe from challenges. Being a unique and very focused niche, convenience store chains have struggled with silent yet significant issues that impact their operations on a very large scale. Enough to influence their broader business models and implementation of expansion strategies, these challenges have the weight to dictate the pace and direction of their growth – and they’re far simpler than you’d think.
Deliveries are increasingly important in today’s consumer climate. As years ago it was the norm to have an online order delivered over a week later, today’s customers expect to receive their orders within just a few hours. With Q-commerce trends setting high competitive standards and raising customer expectations, which is also called on-demand delivery, it’s becoming progressively challenging for convenience chains to satisfy customers. For example, 7-ELEVEN’s launch of 7NOW, a mobile application through which customers can order from thousands of products and receive them within a 30-minute delivery window, makes it astoundingly difficult to compete.
Employment costs have always been a factor, but they significantly press the margin. With rising labor costs and an increasing need to provide excellent customer experiences, hiring, training, and shifting adequate employment teams is imperative to smooth operations – at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars per month. From supply chain operations and stocking to store management and cashiers, staffing is a very apparent expense for convenience chains.
Real estate costs are a severe limiting factor for convenience chains, as location is critical for their value offering. With densely populated cities and urban areas experiencing constant market fluctuations, the fact that convenience chains target specific, high-demand locations to set up shop costs them significantly. Furthermore, real estate is a linear expense for convenience chains, because the bigger they get, the more locations they own and operate (especially in big, expensive cities).
Bringing The Latest Tech to The Convenience Game
An innovative startup that brings a variety of cutting-edge logistical capabilities to convenience chains, 1MRobotics is on a mission to enhance the way stores in the sector operate. By utilizing the most advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning, in combination with their powerful hyperlocal nano fulfillment automation strategy, 1MRobotics gives chains the ability to satisfy their customers more profitably and hedge their way to the forefront of the industry. Having developed a system that enables convenience chains to autonomously receive and prepare packages and deliver orders with drastically reduced manual requirements, 1MRobotics brings a lot to the table for convenience chains, and makes the automated convenience store a reality.
Staying close to customers is the most effective way to ensure lightning-fast deliveries and increased order volume. 1MRobotics allows convenience chains to use hyperlocal tactics by deploying their autonomous solution anywhere. Coming in different sizes based on needs, their system is designed to integrate into existing locations to enhance operations and significantly boost performance. An off-the-shelf, plug & play system the size of a shipping container, their solution is a ready-made product in itself that deploys collaborative retail automation solutions to reduce employee headcount by 75% while increasing productivity in any location. Decreasing real-estate costs by optimizing existing real estate to produce rapid deliveries, 1MRobotics’ system makes it possible for customers to receive their order deliveries within a staggering two hours.
Versatile and built to integrate seamlessly with any tech stack, 1MRobotics’ facility leverages cloud-based mechanisms to orchestrate a variety of features, such as omnichannel operations, hybrid inventory management, stock predictions, end-to-end stock visibility and control, and more. With this solution, convenience chains will be able to restock items in different methods based on their on-demand needs in order to support a fast-paced order fulfillment environment.
The Future is an Automated Convenience Store
With more additional locations, optimized existing locations, less employees and extremely fast deliveries, 1MRobotics allows convenience chains to cut costs significantly while increasing output by nearly every metric. With the tools and technology to satisfy customers and exceed their expectations at every turn, convenience chains have much to look forward to.