Tobaccoland and Own.Solutions partner to enable the digital commerce revolution at convenience stores.

Digital commerce means challenges for convenience stores

Tobaccoland is a leading supplier in services and logistics for more than 5300 stores, kiosks tobaccoshops in Austria. The company prides itself on recognizing trends and helping to shape them: in the interests of tobacconists, in the interests of manufacturers and the interests of consumers.

With the development of digital commerce, convenience stores are facing new challenges. Customers are looking for new types of products and services which were typically not sold at convenience stores, and the products which were very popular a few years ago, such as mobile top-ups, are not as successful as they used to be.

At the same time, convenience stores in Austria are smaller businesses that are keen to improve in-store customer experience supported by modern processes, but access to the right technology is often made for larger stores networks.

Digital commerce also means new opportunities

Although there is a significant acceleration of the shift from in-store shopping to digital shopping, many customers still prefer to buy in the safe environment of a store with the payment methods they are familiar with, including cash. The opportunity for online businesses or other businesses with no physical stores to reach customers in a shop at the corner of their street or when they are commuting means access to a powerful new sales channel. Austria has millions of customers visiting a convenience store on a weekly basis.

Working in close cooperation with Oliver Strobl - Sales, Distribution & E-Business Director at Tobaccoland - and his team, we have made it possible for businesses with no physical stores to sell their products and services at convenience stores. Our strategies lead to a “win, win, win” situation where online merchants, convenience stores, and both our companies are contributing to each other’s business growth. Own.Solutions have been instrumental in that process, approaching innovative online businesses as well as a new generation of on-demand, mobility, health or energy service companies such as Flixbus, Chimpy and many more.

The Own.Solutions team focuses on designing customized in-store sales processes and thinking out of the box when it comes to optimizing customers buying experience in-store. The specific needs of the businesses we have collaborated with have led to the implementation of various set-ups such as:

  • PINs on receipt sales mechanism which enables a customer to buy a PIN code that is activated at the purchase and can be used to purchase online, on a mobile etc.
  • Gift cards also activated at purchase to be used to access the products or services of the gift card brand. 
  • Top-ups of existing accounts after a personal identification process if required.
  • Rentals of physical products, holding a deposit during the rental period if necessary.

The spirit of the collaboration between Tobaccoland and Own.Solutions is giving a lot of space to make it possible to continuously innovate and serve the fast-evolving needs of today’s customers.

The right technical infrastructure to support in-store digital transformation

In-store sales embrace a technology revolution, enabling a transformation that streamlines processes and significantly improves the efficiency of its operations. As a forward-thinking company, Tobaccoland has partnered with Own.Solutions to make this technology available to convenience stores.

As small businesses, shop owners often do not have the time, knowledge or resources to automate and digitalize their sales and administration processes. In order to support innovative sales experiences, Own.Solution invests significant resources into implementing an innovative in-store sales technology infrastructure—a very pragmatic and smooth communication between the Tobaccoland and Own.Solutions teams enable the implementation of tools customized to the specific needs of convenience stores shop owners.

The future looks bright for convenience stores

In the current context of fighting the coronavirus pandemic, convenience stores have become crucial for people to access the products and services they need – including digital. Tobaccoland and Own.Solutions are partnering to tackle their challenges and support convenience stores to successfully embrace and be part of the digital commerce revolution.