Today’s convenience retailers face nearly unlimited opportunities—and challenges—as the consumer mindset continues to shift based on economic concerns and a growing desire for personalization and deal-seeking. At the same time, CPG brands are looking for innovative ways to engage consumers through new and existing touchpoints—especially in digital environments.
That confluence of trends is making digital age and identity verification one of the fastest-growing technology solutions in the convenience industry. Why? Because most convenience store transactions contain age-restricted products. For instance, 61% of today’s alcohol sales occur at convenience stores and 80% of nicotine product sales occur within the c-store, according to PDI data.
Combine that number with the fact that tobacco users typically have over 60% larger c-store basket size, and you start to get a sense of how much revenue is at stake. Deploying the right age and identity verification solutions can help you maximize in-store revenue by marketing some of the most popular brands to the most loyal customers.
The drive to go digital
This approach, combined with the need to encourage repeat visits and sales, creates an environment where serving up digital offers can improve your bottom line and help you better meet consumer needs.
As age-restricted categories, particularly nicotine, continue to evolve (with some industry experts noting the potential for only non-combustible products as early as 2030), marketers must be able to safely, directly, and confidently communicate with consumers. And don’t forget that cannabis products will also play a role in age-restricted marketing as recreational use becomes legalized state by state.
Having said all that, going digital can still seem difficult in restricted categories. Beyond age and identity verification, there’s surgeon general warning compliance, geographical restrictions, app store concerns, and other category-specific requests that frequently change and are somewhat opaque to retailers.
PDI helps solve this issue by offering our webview as a service to take care of all the compliance requirements. Retailers can use the webview to confidently display PDI-sourced content along with their own content, inclusive of targeted offers, brand website links, loyalty offers, and coupons.
The role of brands in age verification
Brands can also play a key role in helping retailers overcome these challenges. By digitizing the age verification process through a matrixed offer network that provides built-in age and identity verification—as well as regulatory warnings (i.e., Surgeon General)—brands can benefit both retailers and consumers.
In addition to alleviating the burden from retailers, this approach can help brands build a loyal following through a frictionless experience for shoppers at their preferred time and place of convenience. If brands can rapidly convert consumers from offline offers and loyalty programs to digital options, the opportunities are virtually limitless. While brands can build greater loyalty, retailers can enjoy larger basket spend and potentially higher profits.
Lasting value in the data
Ultimately, digital age and identity verification provides a better understanding of consumers through a treasure trove of data, which enables deeper relationships and the delivery of seamless personalized experiences. In a complicated yet high-potential ecosystem like that of convenience, having the right tools to optimize your retail promotions and increase sales can be key to navigating dynamic market changes and achieving ongoing success.
If you’re interested in discovering how age and identity verification solutions can benefit your business, PDI has the right offerings and an integrated ecosystem approach that’s far easier than trying to build and manage a customized in-house solution. In fact, PDI serves the largest network of CPG brands and retailers in the convenience industry. That large and growing ecosystem helps take the burden off both brands and retailers, enabling everyone to thrive.
PDI can help retailers attract the most CPG funding for digital marketing in restricted categories such as alcohol and nicotine products for consumers 21 years and older. In this way, the benefit becomes far more than just age and identity verification—it becomes the ability to market more effectively for these age-restricted categories that account for such a large portion of c-store sales.
The time is right to turn digital age and identity verification into a strategic business advantage. Contact us today to learn how we can help you transform your business.