Better data reporting and product accounting can improve the c-store customer experience.
Better data reporting and product accounting can improve the c-store customer experience.

There’s no substitute for visibility into convenience store operations. Owners and managers know this, but sometimes it’s all too easy to be held back from achieving this insight when relying on manual processes.

Retail solutions can improve the in-store aspects that matter to customers.”

We’re talking about pen and paper, spreadsheets on spreadsheets and jotted-down notes that seem to vanish into thin air – the traditional methods that just can’t cut it in these technology-driven times. There’s no two ways about it, manual-based accounting processes not only raise considerable barriers to operational visibility but they also open businesses to the risks of human error. Not carrying a “1” here or there when adding up numbers can have a much greater effect on the financial bottom line than it might appear at first glance.

C-store owners and operators need modern solutions to tackle these challenges. They need product accounting software and reporting features to manage inventory, customer relationships and overall operations.

What is product accounting software?

Product accounting software accomplishes much of what managers get done with pen and paper – except with exponentially greater efficiency, accuracy and speed. For instance, tracking inventory by hand is an arduous task – one that must be undertaken frequently – and a process riddled with opportunities to make a mistake given the scale. Those in charge of inventory must ensure the right products are on the shelf, the right prices are displayed and the right orders are made to optimize their stock of goods. This becomes a time-consuming task and potentially costly when done by hand. Yet, with product accounting, c-stores can automate data capture and take advantage of key features like:

  • Pricebook integration.
  • Data transfer from wireless hand-helds.
  • Daily reporting.

Why better reporting makes for better customer experiences

C-stores not only stand to benefit on the internal operations side when using product accounting software, they can also enhance their customers’ experiences and maintain better relationships. Most of the top factors that influence a consumer’s decision on which c-store to visit relate directly to how the store performs in product accounting. AlixPartners, a consulting service, found in a survey that besides location, consumers weigh product price, merchandise selections, and promotions and discounts.

We already know that product accounting software can help c-stores regulate inventory and pricing to meet the first two criteria, but an added benefit to such solutions includes better reporting. When c-store operators have greater insight into what products are being bought, which aren’t, which are bought in tandem and so on, they can track transaction trends and generate promotions that cater to their customers’ tastes.

Stores need a capable vendor as well

There is clear-cut value to product accounting software for all c-stores, whether multistore franchises or single-location businesses. Retail solutions can improve the in-store aspects that matter to customers. When they work with an experienced and skilled vendor to gain this capability, c-stores can unlock even greater benefits. With a whole suite of solutions that enable increased operational control and insight, owners and operators can similarly upgrade their logistics and wholesale infrastructure.

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