What are your 2014 resolutions? Think about the shoppers you serve!

It’s early in the 2014. Did you make any personal resolutions this year? Exercise more often? More time with family? Save for retirement? Hopefully you will make good progress on each one you’ve made.

Did you make any resolutions related to your business and the people who shop at the locations you serve? Here are the business resolutions you should be making for 2014:

  1. We will deploy remote monitoring at the locations we serve: Our machines and other equipment will be monitored remotely so we can deliver better service.
  2. We will communicate directly with the shoppers at the locations we serve: Our social media presence will be established when introduce an app for shoppers to access. Next – we will plan to enable two-way communications using Facebook and Twitter.
  3. We will provide cashless payment options: We will be testing in a few locations early in 2014. Then we will roll it out to many of our sites during the spring and summer months.
  4. We promise to minimize, and hopefully eliminate, out-of-stocks: This is a major point of frustration for shoppers who cannot find their favorite item when they come to our ‘stores.’  (My contacts in the convenience store channel tell me that people have very high expectations and very low tolerance concerning out-of-stocks – especially for their preferred products. “They will quit you in a heartbeat if you disappoint them. In the past it took two or three ‘bad’ visits to turn a customer into a former customer. These days, it is one ‘bad’ experience – because they know they can easily go elsewhere to find what they want.” This is one big reason why we must track in-stock levels using remote monitoring. Here are two photographs showing why we must do better – taken three-months apart at a very high-traffic public location – exceptionally busy in the summer and fall months. The first photo was taken on Monday July 22, 2013 at 3:48pm. That’s ridiculous. The second photo was taken on Sunday, October 20, 2013 at 1:45pm. It shows an ’improvement’ versus the first photo – if you’re willing to say that roughly half full is acceptable.)

If you’ve made business resolutions for 2014 and are willing to share those – it would be very interesting to see what the priority list looks like for our industry.

I wish you a happy, healthy and successful 2014 – and great progress with your resolutions, both personal and business.  

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