Mirroring the example of department and big-box stores, 7‑Eleven has expanded its 7NOW delivery app to offer customers the option to order and pay for items ahead of time.
The Irving, Texas convenience chain said the contactless initiative provides customers with convenience and minimizes time in stores.
“As people struggle to adapt to new routines in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, 7‑Eleven is committed to helping customers get what they need, when, where and how they need it,” said 7‑Eleven Chief Operating Officer Chris Tanco in a statement. “The new pickup option on our 7NOW delivery app is an example of how we’re meeting customers’ needs to be in and out of stores quickly with minimal touchpoints and increased physical distancing, while also making life a little easier.”
The app offers instant access to thousands of items; customers can place a pickup order, walk in, bypass the line and retrieve their order at the time specified, the company said.
The convenience chain also said it has doubled its delivery footprint to ensure that more customers can access the convenience of delivery and pickup. It will soon be available to 60 million households in more than 1,300 cities across nearly 2,000 stores, 7-Eleven said.
In addition, the company said it has expanded its hygiene, hand-washing, sanitation, food handling and preparation standards in stores, including increased frequency of cleaning high-touch surfaces.
“We are encouraging our corporate store associates to wear masks and gloves when serving customers and asking our independent franchise owners to do the same in their stores,” the company said in a statement. “Customers now have access to disposable gloves, tissues and sanitizer stations while shopping in stores.”
Last week, PYMNTS reported that quick-service restaurants and other foodservice companies have changed their operations during COVID-19. Many are implementing technologies online and in-store to make sure diners can seamlessly and safely complete their orders.
Among retailers, the recovery is on in states where the virus has been brought under control, but it is decidedly off in states that are suffering as new cases rise. A survey revealed that the sector stands to lose $240 billion in revenue by year’s end. Meanwhile, online food orders from restaurants during COVID-19 has increased by 134 percent; Starbucks has seen an 80 percent uptick in on-the-go payments made with the coffee chain’s app; and 25 percent of quick-service restaurants are operating with formal digital strategies.