This article is brought to you by Taiga, a NACS Hunter Club member.
ALEXANDRIA, Va.—There’s a profound technology shift happening in the convenience store industry. For decades, c-store retailers were focused on back-office technology, pouring much of their budget dollars into software that made the back office run smoother and more efficiently. (Think: end-of-month reporting, accounting, supply chain, billing, inventory control, etc.)
But now, these retailers are finding that they need to increasingly invest in front-office technologies to keep up with the pace of change happening in the industry. These changes include things like business intelligence, self-checkout, mobile apps and loyalty programs.
“There’s this pendulum shift,” says Bill Ivers, CRO and co-founder of Taiga, an analytics company serving c-stores. “While once everybody saw the back office as the core of their business, now convenience retailers are investing in new technologies that are specifically designed to drive revenue, increase profits and improve consumer satisfaction. They have begun to prioritize their spending based on measurable ROI.”
According to Ivers, retailers are now spending anywhere from five to 10 times the amount on front-office technologies than they are on back-office technology.
“Convenience retailers used to be of the mindset that the back office deserves the majority of a business’ resources, including time, money and staffing,” said Ivers. “However, the needs of the back office have largely remained unchanged over the past few years. There has been a shift in allocating more and more resources to front-office technology.”
What’s more is that front-office technologies have the capability to deliver a larger ROI than back-of-office technologies. Although back-office systems get their ROI from automating manual processes and reducing time spent on those processes, many of these systems are considered “legacy” systems because they were developed decades ago on older technologies that are difficult to enhance.
“Seeing the need for updated front-office technologies, retailers have invested in new solutions, but if they have piecemealed these solutions, adopting ones here and there from different tech sources, there is now a huge effort needed to bring them all together to work cohesively,” said Ivers.
This is where Taiga comes in. The company has developed the first comprehensive front-office platform designed in collaboration with c-store retailers. Technology solutions within the platform include things like real-time price optimization and predictive AI solutions. Learn more about Taiga’s platform in the Thursday, November 3 edition of NACS Daily.
This is the first installment of a two-part NACS Daily series on why convenience retailers should prioritize front-office technology spend. Learn more about Taiga by emailing [email protected] or calling (888) 983-5874.