Tecmark is now a certified, integrated partner to deliver its loyalty and rewards program to the convenience store market, for both Verifone and Gilbarco POS systems. With that distinction, we have the privilege and honor to be a part of their industry leading annual user conferences. The Verifone show was in Florida and the Gilbarco show was in South Carolina. These two companies are the leading provider of convenience store POS solutions with a combined market share well over 50%.
These shows overlapped in May, so it was a real challenge for our team to ensure we were present at both shows to meet our fellow certified partners and the many current and prospective users of those POS systems. During this time, both firms make major product announcements and give their users a chance to test and learn more about their systems. In addition, they bring in experts to address current topics that affect the c-store industry as well as other relevant trends in the market.
So, what did we learn?
Verifone announced some big news items. First, they are finally ending the sale of their Ruby system that revolutionized the industry and sold over 150K unites. In addition, they announced that their Commander system will begin to be sold worldwide. This is the second Verifone product to earn that distinction; plus they announced that their loyalty module in Commander will soon be able to support up to four stacked loyalty programs.
Gilbarco's focus was more on retailers' needs to shift their focus from distribution based strategies to experience based strategies. Younger generations expect more than just convenience - They expect an experience. This may include offering a more community or socializing space for consumers to enjoy their coffee, sandwich, or snack.
At both conferences, there continued to be a lot of buzz about EMV and mobile pay. The convenience store industry is definitely having a challenging time “catching up” to other markets and countries in their ability to accept and process “chip and pin” as well as mobile pay. Interestingly, I was recently in Canada where I paid for my gas at the pump with my new Visa chip card. With this, they could solve a lot of their current issues with skimming at the pumps.
We had a lot of interest and discussions regarding the Tecmark solutions for the convenience stores. Our digital program tools that eliminate the need for cards or paper, added with our innovative “text to enroll” were well received. The idea that no additional hardware is needed, just simple pointing and turning on our connection was also well received.
Convenience stores appear to be ready to implement true loyalty and rewards programs that go well beyond the basic pump “roll back” and grocery c-store partnership programs. They are beginning to understand the need to identify, incent, and reward specific buying patterns such as our focus on driving traffic “in store” to up the customer engagement and increase spending on the higher margin in store items.
We look forward to our continued rapid growth in the industry and getting to know each of you and addressing your needs.
Our mission is simple:
“Creating success through connecting businesses to their customers
with simple and effective loyalty programs”.
We see and believe each element of this mission as we get to know our new customers, partners, and prospects.
Founder & CEO