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Digitally enabled customer convenience

28 April 2021

7-Eleven Australia’s transformative digital strategy signals a significant step forward for Australia’s leading convenience retailer, with an extensive digital program well underway with the aim of providing consumers with the products and services they want, when and where they want them.

7-Eleven Australia Tribe Lead Technology, Stephen Eyears, said the digital transformation strategy currently underway allows the organisation to accelerate the pace of innovation to meet the needs of their customers.

“We had some great digital products and services before we started our digital transformation, such as our world first 7-Eleven Fuel App and our bespoke 7-Eleven ParcelMate service that we developed from scratch” Mr Eyears said.

“What’s important is that we are not about technology for the sake of technology, but rather asking ourselves what technology will enable us to give our customers what they need, when they need it, and in a way that is faster, more scalable, and more efficient.”

“When we think about convenience in the future, the services people want are going to be a lot more sophisticated. So, knowing our customers and ensuring our offer meets their individual needs will be key to utilising technology to develop the services necessary to meet those needs.

“Our store teams know many of their customers personally and we do not believe there’s a physical customer world and then a separate digital customer world. It is one customer experience across both the digital and bricks and mortar environments.

“The challenge for us is to enhance the in-store focus on customers we have had over the past 40 plus years by supporting our store teams with the products and services that make customers’ everyday easier.

“Digital can help us do that faster, more personally, more efficiently, and at scale,” Mr Eyears said

In thinking about what the next offer to push the boundaries on what consumers expect from the retailer, Mr Eyears says the newest offerings will provide insight on what digital interactions customers find valuable.

“Having the right digital foundation means we can anticipate customer needs better,” he said.

“Our systems are reliable and stable with world-class security around payments and data.

“With enterprise ecosystems, we can focus on doing the things that add value to the customer and less about the housekeeping.

“We’re excited to see what our customers reaction to our new 7-Eleven Delivery service, the enhanced 7-Eleven ParcelMate offer, our ecommerce trials, and the cashless and cardless micromarket format we have installed for a corporate organisation in Brisbane will be.”

When asked about the challenge of taking on categories with well-established competitors, Mr Eyears says the company is willing to invest the time to change the status quo.

“Disrupting ingrained customer habits takes time. Back in 2008 you wouldn’t have thought about 7-Eleven as your daily destination for a freshly ground coffee,” Mr Eyears said.

“We’re now selling more than 80 million cups of coffee per year and that is a key part of our convenience offer for customers.

“We invest to make sure our offer is compelling for customers, giving them real choice and value.

“From there we are willing to work with our store teams to educate customers about new categories and provide low risk opportunities for them to sample.

“When you disrupt customers’ traditional patterns you have to invest for the longer term to support that change.”

He said providing customers with the right products and services relevant to their needs across physical and digital environment is crucial.

“Our digital transformation is the path we are taking to meet our customers’ needs, not a destination. 

Stephen Eyears

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