This year, more than 23,500 industry stakeholders from over 60 countries around the globe attended the NACS Show. The theme of this year’s show was We Can – which is meant to embrace the convenience industry’s can-do spirit. As the only global platform that connects members of this industry on such a large scope, the NACS Show is the can’t-miss event of the year. With more than 50 Education sessions and a 40,000-square foot expo featuring over 1,200 exhibitors, there was innovation and never-before-seen products at every corner.
As first-time exhibitors at the show, Comarch was placed in the New Exhibitor Area, which boasts the latest products, services, and technologies entering the market. Below is a list of some of the Comarch team’s key takeaways from the 2019 show. As we reflect on the insights gained from the show this year, we look forward to returning to the NACS Show next year in Las Vegas!
- Technologies are transforming the in-store – and out-of-store – customer experience. From speeding up self-checkout processes to rewarding customers through loyalty programs, new technologies are revolutionizing the customer journey. As technology continues to shift power to the consumer, retailers are learning that they must be present outside their stores – through social media and promotion – as much as they must be present within their stores.
- Selling your products in C-Stores is all about marketing. The average time it takes a customer to walk in, purchase an item and depart is between 3 and 4 minutes. It takes 35 seconds to walk from the car to the store, 71 seconds to select item(s), 42 seconds to wait in line to pay, 21 seconds to pay and 44 seconds to leave the store – which means you have to make your product stand out amongst the others – within the 71 seconds that you have their attention.
- There are countless new products coming to the market at any given time – which means they have to be different to stand out. With new food trends like incorporating plant-based proteins and emphasizing natural ingredients, each company must communicate their unique selling proposition from the very first impression. According to panelists from Pilot Travel Centers featured on the Oct. 1 Session “C-Store Success A Practical Guide to Sell Your Product, Service or Equipment to Convenience Stores,” many C-Stores have about 4000 unique SKUs at any one time. Newcomers to the market must be prepared to invest to displace existing products – because as we know, convenience stores have very limited retail space.
- Convenience stores are everywhere. According to NACS, there are nearly 150,000 convenience stores in the US alone, which is one store for every 2,100 people – accounting for one-third of brick-and-mortar retail.
- Retailers have the capacity to make a notable difference in their communities. The NACS Foundation encourages its members’ charitable endeavors while continuing to extend its own impact on communities around the country. On July 24th of this year, the NACS Foundation launched 24/7 Day – its first nationwide charitable initiative, which was created to honor first responders, doctors and nurses, military and disaster relief volunteers who work around the clock to support communities when disasters occur. Proceeds from the campaign benefitted the American Red Cross.
In today’s retail environment, it’s become clear that encouraging and incentivizing customers to keep coming back for more is the key to success. Rewarding customer loyalty allows retailers to grow sales while offering a unique opportunity to differentiate themselves from their competition. Comarch’s Loyalty Management (CLM) platform is at the forefront of the technology shaping the retail market. CLM is tailored to adhere precisely to the needs of each client – to help retailers and brands stand out from their competitors and create a truly personalized experience. Learn more about Comarch Loyalty Solutions here.