Convenience-store chain 7-Eleven Inc. is testing delivery and in-store pickup via a smartphone app in its own backyard as part of what it calls a “significant digital transformation.”
Irving, Texas-based 7-Eleven’s app 7-ElevenNOW can be used at 10 locations in Dallas.
It plans to roll out the program at different locations across the U.S. next year.
Customers can choose to have their order delivered by a courier service or to pick up the order at a participating location and pay for the order with the app.
“Today’s digitally savvy consumer expects a wide range of options right at their fingertips and 7‑Eleven is delivering on that promise,” 7‑Eleven Chief Digital Officer Gurmeet Singh said in a statement “We continuously ask our consumers how we can make their lives better, and 7‑ElevenNOW is a proprietary solution to their on-demand needs.”
The company already has a nationwide app for its loyalty rewards program, but many quick-service restaurant chains are looking to improvements in mobile ordering in their latest technology projects.
Yum! Brands Inc.’s Taco Bell recently announced a 2018 technology upgrade called All Access with mobile ordering and delivery as a priority.
The convenience chain’s entire inventory isn’t available for online ordering, but customers can choose from a list of staples. They can order a Big Gulp, Slurpee or other beverages, including beer and wine, foods such as pizza and chicken wings, as well as candy, cold medicine and, interestingly, ear buds and phone chargers.
“We have been pioneering new trends in the convenience industry for 90 years,” 7‑Eleven President and CEO Joe DePinto said in a statement. “Our company was the first to offer coffee in to-go cups, operate 24/7 and provide a self-serve soda fountain. 7‑Eleven will always look for innovative ways to reach and excite our customers and maintain our leadership position in convenience retailing. Today, that means redefining convenience through digital innovation.”
Along with increasing its digital footprint, the company is also acquiring brick-and-mortar locations. In April, it agreed to buy 1,108 U.S. C-stores from Sunoco for $3.3 billion.
The company operates, franchises or licenses more than 63,000 locations in 18 countries.