As a convenience store owner, you should be ready to take every step to make it a pleasant buying experience, and that’s when you can think of taking advantage of many new technologies, and even consider adding automation to convenience stores.

The idea of bringing automation into convenience stores is not new. The first recorded automated coin-operated machine was built sometime during the first century A.D. by Hero of Alexandria and gave out holy water to pilgrims visiting temples. The 19th century saw automated machines in rampant use selling everything from Christmas cards to coffee. It was the late 20th century before self-service machines finally gave way self-checkout systems in stores. This trend is expected to reach the 325,000-unit level this year worldwide – the rise of around 70 percent in six years.

The change from human-human to a human-machine convenience store has been as steady as technology would allow, but all the modern-day signs and statistics are pointing to a sharp spike in the impact of automation software across retail as a whole.

The Current State of Automation in Grocery Stores

Convenience stores are automating the checkout process with self-service checkouts at a pace. For areas like Ontario, Canada, this change has been driven by the minimum wage increase. Businesses such as Metro openly state they intend to eliminate 280 staffed positions and install automated machines in more shops despite concerns that self-check-outs do not significantly enrich the customer’s experience.

Nevertheless, Marketplace tested traditional cashiers against self-checkouts and discovered that cashiers do the job faster with fewer errors. Along with cutting staffing costs in stores, self-service and check-in automated systems at airports reduce the cost of the average check-in to a great extent. Such automated processes seem set to save organizations operating costs by encouraging consumers to do the job of cashier themselves.

Automation Funds Further Automation in the Back of House

The savings and improved productivity generated by warehouse automation can be reinvested in other money-saving automation to create an integrated convenience store automation software solution. Automated management, preparation resources, and computerized office management all free up time.

Efficient convenience store management software offers key performance indicator (KPI) data at the push of a button, helping retailers with decisions by spotting sales patterns and predicting customer needs based on previous data. All add to customer satisfaction when it results in the right amount of seasonal products on the shelves.

Everything to Lose If You Skip Out on Automation

Automation system software helps convenience stores realize better inventory management with computer-assisted ordering that reflects current and predicted trends. It will also help with itemized pricing, discounts and promotion, lottery and fuel sales and other similar services by using scalable applications that record of performance.

While there may be mixed views around using automation in convenience stores to reduce staffing, other automated systems offer so many advantages that streamline everything in the back office to help keep even the smallest convenience store cost effective. So, it really makes sense to try it and see how it works for your business.