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03/08/2021

Survey: Store systems failures pose major inconvenience to c-stores

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Almost all convenience retailers experience store-level technology failures, with significant financial impact.

According to a new survey of 100 convenience store retailers from Zynstra, an NCR company, and Censuswide, 98% of respondents have had to deal with store system failure, and 85% of respondents agree that ensuring continuous operations of store technology systems increases revenue from missed transactional opportunities due to downtime.

Survey results indicate that failures of store systems result in average revenue losses of up to $855 per hour and on average, re-launching systems can take up to 5.43 hours, resulting in $4,643 lost revenue per day. 

In order to return to service, 65% of respondents are experiencing this kind of reboot once a month. In addition, 41% of respondents claim at least one component of their technology stack operates as a single point of failure.

When asked where they believe IT can make the biggest difference in reducing downtime across their store ecosystem, 33% of all respondents (including 66% with 501-plus stores) believe more automation of systems will be the key to resolving these issues. Half of respondents with 250-plus stores said that virtualizing their POS system so they can remove the most common failure part—the physical disc —and run the latest software on their existing hardware with high availability would make the biggest difference in reducing the impact of downtime in their stores.
 
The survey also asked respondents to identify specific IT events that have caused systems failures in their stores. Leading results include:

•    Security breach - 45%
•    Hardware failure - 43%
•    Incompatibility with Windows updates – 41% (rising to 88% for respondents with 251-plus store counts)
•    Software failure – 32%

As IT replacements take place, 47% of respondents say that a store technician has to be sent to the physical store 50% or more of the time to resolve store system failure.