This article was originally published by Convenience Store News.
Convenience store operators have long been known for the personal service they provide. Your local c-store clerk knows your coffee order, knows the name of your grandchildren, and may even know what lottery numbers you faithfully play. In-person, personal service.
This is all changing, however, as consumers seek — or, more accurately, demand — a shopping experience when, where and how they want it.
Enter the emerging channel of omnichannel.
Defined as retail that integrates the various methods of shopping available to consumers, including online, in-store and mobile, the 360-degree omnichannel approach is an avenue consumer packaged goods retailers and suppliers are beginning to explore.
"True omnichannel retail is still something retailers and brands are striving for, but doesn't yet exist,” explained Mark Hardy, CEO of InContext Solutions, a global provider of enterprise mixed and virtual reality solutions focused on retail optimization and shopper engagement. “In general, though, the convenience channel seems to be making quite a few leaps and bounds when it comes to innovation.
"Because it's increasing in popularity, shoppers are more inclined to interact in new ways, whether that's mobile apps or in-store technology. But it's going to take some true innovation and disruptors to take the lead on creating true omnichannel shopping experiences in the convenience channel," Hardy continued.
Continue reading at Convenience Store News.