Convenience stores aren’t just about convenience. Serving customers and running a profitable business is also a matter of speed and security, and that’s why many c-stores are investing in digital and automation technologies.
At a time when labor and supply chain challenges are at their highest, and c-stores are still emerging from the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, digitizing and automating stores and processes is more important than ever.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, 93.5% of c-stores were investing in automation, with 68.7% of those investments going to store-level technology and the remaining 31.2% being spent on their headquarters.1
The pandemic created many new challenges and disruptions, but most c-stores and suppliers have weathered that storm remarkably well, and they are continuing major investment in the channel.
In fact, 66% of c-store retailers reported that their in-store sales were higher in 2021 than in 2020, and only 16% said their sales declined. Additionally, 51% of c-stores expected strong sales in the first quarter of 2022.2
Many c-stores are investing some of the profits from these sales in technological improvements such as frictionless or cashierless checkouts, app-based ordering and payment, and better inventory and supply chain management. One thing that’s helping them do it is the GO Zebra trade-in program from Zebra Technologies, a global leader in c-store automation, barcoding, mobile computing, and printing solutions.
The GO Zebra program offers rebates of up to $650 per device when c-stores trade in their aging and outdated technologies for the latest Zebra solutions for frictionless checkouts, customer self-service, and more efficient store workflows.
These savings help enable significant store improvements such as replacing and upgrading point-of-sale systems to provide faster checkouts with more efficient scanning, customer self-scanning, and tablet-based self-checkouts. And even non-Zebra products are potentially eligible for trade-ins to get the latest Zebra technologies.
A great example is Zebra’s DS9900 Series presentation scanner, which is a corded hybrid device that can be used as both a hands-free and handheld scanner. It has a cradle so you can use it as presentation-style device to enable customer self-scans or hands-free scans by cashiers. But you can also remove it from the cradle and use it as a handheld device to scan barcodes as needed.
With Zebra’s PRZM Intelligent Imaging technology, 800 MHz microprocessor and hi-res megapixel scanner, the DS9900 scans 1D, 2D and Digimarc barcodes in virtually any condition, even if they’re dense, poorly printed, damaged, crinkled, faded, distorted or they’re being shown on a customer’s smartphone display. This ensures fast and reliable data capture every time, without failed scans and delays at the checkout.
Zebra’s DS9300 presentation imager offers the same data capture efficiency in a smaller and compact device that fits into even the smallest counter spaces. Despite its small size, it’s built to handle 5-foot drops to concrete and 1,000 consecutive 1.5-foot tumbles. And it has IP52 rated sealing against dust and spills, including an opto-mechanical layout with a concealed beeper hole as well as an elevated circuitry and cable connector, so even the device’s base is spill-proof.
For label and receipt printing, Zebra is also offering significant savings on its ZD600 and ZD400 series compact desktop printers, and if you need to print labels on the go and on demand, particularly for more efficient inventory management, you can get savings on ZA500 and QZ600 mobile printers.
All of these printers offer faster, more accurate printing with the latest Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity as well as the latest security. And their plug-and-play ease of use and centralized cloud-based printer management mean you can easily integrate these devices with your point of sale, other software apps, and your desktop and mobile devices.
Although Zebra’s ET Series tablets aren’t part of the trade-in program, tablets such as the ET5x or ET85/ET80 series are a great choice and a huge value for setting up tablet-based digital checkouts that link up with your point of sale software. Each tablet comes with enhanced processing power, memory, battery life and connectivity to enable seamless checkouts and touchscreen workflows.
But the biggest advantage is for your bottom line. These are enterprise-grade devices with vastly better durability specs than you can get from any iOS or other consumer-grade device, which often get damaged and need to be replaced within six months to a year of deployment. Instead, you can get years of reliable performance out of these tablets and save thousands of dollars on repair and replacement costs.
If you’re looking to optimize your convenience store checkouts and operations, now is a great time to invest in technologies such as these, particularly with trade-in rebates that make solutions more affordable, along with new innovations that are enabling faster and more convenient service for customers.
To learn more about the possibilities, download our GO Zebra program brochure and connect with our c-store technology experts at POSRG. We can recommend and help you deploy the right solutions to meet your business goals and tackle labor and supply chain challenges in today’s rapidly changing industry.
Please call us now at 866-462-1005 or contact us to get started.