Study: C-stores face multiple barriers to IT innovation

Aging infrastructure is just one key obstacle inhibiting technology growth at convenience stores.

According to a new survey of convenience store directors and IT managers from retail virtualization technology provider Zynstra, 96% of respondents said if it were easier to implement new applications and services, they would do it more often.

When asked to name their top IT challenges, 51% cited their current store IT infrastructure. Other leading challenges included high cost of compliance and security protocols (47%), inability to cope with lines during peak trading hours and high season (35%), inability to drive upsell promotions from multiple locations at the pump and in the store (35%), aging hardware infrastructure that is expensive to maintain (33%), and POS limitations with existing systems (32%).

Respondents also named key technologies that are very important to the future of their business, including scan and go (43%), mobile payment apps (43%), BOPIS (42%), and order at the pump (41%).

In addition, respondents were asked to name their top initiatives to support future IT strategy in the event their convenience stores obtain the foundational IT structure needed to succeed. Most popular were home delivery (38%), mobile pay at the pump (34%), self-checkout (33%), BOPIS (32%), and mobile payment apps (29%).