Convenience Stores: The Heart of the Snack & Drink Industry
Updated: Aug 10, 2022
This year, convenience stores across the U.S. will lose $8 billion because they can’t effectively manage and track their inventory for both in-store sales and e-commerce. We created Bevz to solve this problem and help the 150k+ stores across the nation save time and money.
Before the Days of On-Demand Delivery
Over the years, we’ve seen how technology has improved mom and pop businesses across different sectors. Restaurants have advanced point-of-sale systems to help them take orders, large retail stores use software to keep track of inventory, and pharmacies now use mobile apps to refill prescriptions. Now, convenience stores are expected to keep up with e-commerce and the growing number of consumer products, without the right tools and technology to help them.
We Really Know this Industry
Convenience stores are unique – they operate in a chaotic environment constrained by regulations. We know this because our team has over 35 years of experience owning and operating convenience stores.
Owners need technology that is robust and customized enough to help them manage and grow their store, but current technology just isn’t designed for convenience stores. It’s built for restaurants, and here’s the difference:
Restaurants carry anywhere from 10-50 items on average; convenience stores have 5k-10k unique items
Restaurants keep menus the same most of the time; convenience stores have different products every month, and in some cases, every week
Restaurants use ingredients to make meals and typically don’t run out of multiple menu items; convenience stores turn inventory fast and have different sets of inventory all the time
Restaurants sell alcohol, but rarely ship or deliver it; convenience stores typically sell large quantities of liquor, beer, and wine, which come with local and national regulations around how these products are bought and sold.
Solving the Core Issue: What’s in Stock?
As Bevz expanded, we kept hearing the same complaint from stores: they are losing customers because they don’t have the right inventory at the right time.
When you walk into a store, you might expect them to know what they have in stock, right? Wrong.
Most convenience stores get new products delivered multiple times a week. Each store orders from several different distributors who have different drop-off schedules. While dealing with in-store customers, and online ones, stores don’t have the time, resources, or technology to manage each product coming in or out.
If the store clerk is busy with customers, distributor representatives will put the products wherever there is space (real image below of drop-off day). If there is no space on the shelf, your favorite bottle of bourbon gets thrown in the back where the clerk (and you) can’t find it…or it never gets purchased by the store in the first place.
The issue is even worse with on-demand delivery. Since the pandemic, alcohol and snack delivery is booming. Convenience stores, realizing that offering delivery is crucial for the future of their business, rushed to sign up with several e-commerce platforms. Each platform requires stores to search for products, enable or disable them, and adjust pricing independently.
Having operated stores, we know that keeping an accurate inventory on one platform, let alone on multiple independent platforms, is impossible. But forcing customers to choose one delivery app is also impossible. For me, I’m a Dash Pass user and I’d like to order food and convenience store items in DoorDash.
These stores – currently doing $243 billion across the nation – are quiet but powerful, and they need to be able to use multiple e-commerce platforms to reach more customers and grow their business.
Building Technology to Meet Specific Needs
Bevz partnered with DoorDash, Uber Eats, Postmates, Drizly, and Grubhub to give convenience stores a simple, customized way to manage all of their e-commerce in one place.
This is just one of our offerings, but it’s a really important one for our stores. Stay tuned as we continue to build integrations, automation, and partnerships across the snack and drink industry that make selling and buying items from convenience stores seamless.
Convenience stores are a critical part of the snack and drink ecosystem, and with Bevz, it’ll stay that way.
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