ALEXANDRIA, Va.—On this week’s episode of Convenience Matters, “Wired, Connected and Ready for The Future,” NACS hosts Carolyn Schnare, director of strategic initiatives, and Donovan Woods, director of operations for the Fuels Institute, discuss the benefits and challenges of wiring and connecting smart stores with Justin McCullough, chief product officer for FSG Smart Buildings, and Steven Babb, IoT and monitoring sales for FSG Smart Buildings.
More residential and commercial properties are becoming smart buildings these days, as technology provides us with more ways than ever before to be connected. One of the things that retailers are concerned with is data protection and store security. “We use sensor technology to send alerts and to monitor things that you want to keep an eye on, such as doors staying open too long,” said McCullough. “We have systems that will alert all the way to the forecourt…dispensers.”
For retailers, there’s no going back to the way things were before technological advances made connections easier. “The truth is, it’s easier to build and dream simultaneously today,” Babb said. “We’ll continue to push the technology envelop because the…customer wants the easiest access to problem solving. … I think we’re going to continue to embrace a lot of [innovation] in the technology space.”
Retailers should also think beyond the box, such as having options for electric charging for more than electric vehicles. “When we think of EV charging, we think of Tesla, etc., but we have to get past thinking about just a car,” McCullough said. “Consumers will be coming into the c-store environment because of that access, but there are also all these autonomous partners who want to lease access to that power” for charging electric scooters and autonomous delivery vehicles, for example.
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