IT teams evaluating convenience store software already have a lot of options to weigh—from POS systems to traffic monitoring systems and more. But these systems come with a high price—a long rollout period and expensive in-store hardware.

ROI is easy to promise but difficult to deliver.  In this article, we’ll list the three convenience store software solutions that deliver on that promise.

Software for Operations Teams: ThinkTime

Seasoned operations leaders understand the biggest threat to meeting monthly and quarterly sales goals is a lack of consistent execution. From a single store to an entire region or chain, consistency falls victim to poor communication.  Standards are left unclear, and tasks are pushed to the side, forgotten about, or never followed up on.

Enter ThinkTime, a modern cloud-based tool that improves performance and communication at every level by providing a clear, consistent and user-friendly platform for tasks. This convenience store software works because ThinkTime fundamentally understands that each chain’s operational workflow is completely different. Customization options are endless: from prioritization and distribution to requirements and automation. All data collected then feeds into a centralized top-down dashboard to analyze problem tasks or stores.

It should go without saying, but this software dramatically helps teams increase sales by ensuring promotions have been rolled out across the chain, that staff remembers to restock shelves, that planograms are updated consistently, and more. The true cost of a lack of execution can’t be measured by one task, but taken holistically, execution is responsible for literally every sale you make. It’s important that you focus your efforts on getting it right.

If any of the following is a concern for you, maybe ThinkTime is the right software for your team to evaluate:

  • Adherence to deadlines
  • Onboarding
  • Task completion
  • Task distribution
  • Project rollouts
  • Uninformed/ out of loop staff

You can learn more about ThinkTime here: https://www.thinktime.com/retail-task-management.

Software for Merchandising Teams: Scorpion Planogram

According to our most recent survey of the convenience space, the majority of c-store chains are focusing on the customer experience to drive sales this year. We don’t expect this trend to change as brick and mortar retailers continue to look for ways to differentiate themselves from their online competition. Advances in convenience store software make it possible for merchandising teams to use the planogram more effectively to drive new sales while leveraging brick and mortar’s best asset: the store itself.

The planogram design process can be time consuming without the right tools in place. Scorpion Planogram helps merchandising teams better understand shelf look and feel before placing a single product. They do it through patented technology that allows users to create a 2D planogram, add in product sizes and photos, and then render the entire display in 3D. This allows teams to do ‘walkthroughs’ of the space, allows customer polling, and ensures teams are aligned before any changes are made. On top of that, Scorpion Planogram has a robust support feature that puts merchandising teams in touch with planogram experts who can help the decision-making process by weighing in on assortment, fronting, and display decisions.

With customer experience as the new king of convenience, it’s essential that stores are designed with the customer in mind—modeling and testing your planograms to ensure they’re in line with customer expectations is a vital step to increasing sales in your chain.

If you have issues with any of the following, Scorpion Planogram might be the right software for your merchandising team to evaluate:

  • Planogram consistency
  • Localizing assortment
  • Visual directive
  • Product presentation
  • Seasonal stock transitions

You can learn more about Scorpion Planogram here: https://www.scorpionplanogram.com/retailers/

Software for Fresh and Prepared Foods: Jolt

The final software on our list is for the folks in the fresh and prepared foods department. Historically, you wouldn’t associate these departments with technology. However, it’s these technologically under-served areas where convenience store software makes the biggest impact. Benefits include workforce optimization, the reduction of expired or spoiled merchandise, and a lower overhead on some of the industry’s most profitable items—ready-to-eat foods.

Jolt helps prepared food departments by improving labeling, pricing, and dating practices through an easy-to-use software. According to their website, their average customer reports saving each of their locations $70 a month after adoption. For a 300-store chain, that means savings of $250,000 a year. By reducing the time spent hand-labeling, Jolt lowers the likelihood of costly mistakes. All label organization, calculation, and printing is done for you consistently across all your locations.

In addition, Jolt leverages a powerful built-in reporting tool that helps managers find opportunities to reduce waste, liabilities, and labor costs. Teams save money, sell more products, and reduce unnecessary spend.

If you’re experiencing any of the following pain points, perhaps Jolt is a great convenience store software for your team to evaluate:

  • Food waste
  • Labor costs
  • Spoiled or expired products
  • Missing/ unclear dating
  • Inconsistent labeling and dating practices

You can learn more about Jolt here: https://jolt.com/products/datecode-label-software/

Chains looking to save money and increase sales in 2019 have a lot of choices when it comes to convenience store software. Every team in the c-store space can use technology to radically improve their workflow and stay under budget. The three convenience store software above come highly recommended from our clients and prospects, but it’s important to note that no single software is a one-size-fits all solution. In order to effectively roll out a new technology, you need the buy-in of your staff and the other key decision makers. Software only works when your staff is trained and involved.

Take a look at our solutions page to learn how convenience store IT teams utilize CB4’s machine learning software to improve operational efficiency and increase net new sales.