Most Convenience Retailers Experience Failures

Nearly all retailers have dealt with store system failures and the consequences of downtime.

March 01, 2021

Retailer System Error Screen Failure

UNITED KINGDOM—Zynstra, an NCR Company and NACS supplier member, published findings from its latest C-Store Technology Insight Report, “The True Cost of Downtime: How Reboots, Shutdowns and Glitches Impact C-stores,” to highlight the consequences of storewide system failures and how convenience retailers are solving these pain points.

According to the survey, nearly all respondents (98%) have experienced a store system failure, demonstrating how prevalent the issue is within the industry. Consequences of unplanned technology downtime, identified in the survey, include:

Lost Revenue: Failures of store systems result in average revenue losses of up to $855 per hour. On average, re-launching systems can take up to 5.43 hours, resulting in $4,643 lost revenue per day, and to return to service, 65% of respondents are experiencing this kind of reboot once a month.

Single Points of Failure: 41% of respondents claim at least one component of their technology stack operates as a single point of failure, while 65% say that one of their store systems has to be rebooted at least once a month.

Replacing IT Touchpoints: The following IT events have caused respondents’ store system failures:

  • Security breach—45%
  • Hardware failure—43%
  • Incompatibility with Windows updates—41% (rising to 88% for c-stores with 251+ store counts)
  • Software failure—32%

As IT replacements take place, 47% of respondents say a store technician must be sent to the physical store 50% or more of the time to resolve store system failure, adding another expense to the c-store’s bottom line.

Solving for Downtime with a Software-Defined Store Strategy: When asked where they believe IT can make the biggest difference in reducing downtime across their store ecosystem, 33% of respondents believe more automation of systems will be the key to resolving these issues, with the number of respondents rising to 66% for stores with 501-plus locations.

“This data demonstrates that addressing unplanned store technology downtime can benefit retailers bottom line,” said Nick East, co-founder and CEO of Zynstra.

“The pandemic has accelerated change in the store. C-store retailers require reliable in-store IT to meet new customer demands and facilitate a convenient and safe shopping experience. Transitioning to a software-defined store strategy by virtualizing retail store systems can play a big role in resolving these IT pain points. This strategy reduces the cost associated with managing, monitoring and maintaining store systems, providing c-stores with much greater resilience and control.”

Access the full report on Zynstra’s website.