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7-Eleven brings Mobile Checkout to Canada

After a successful expansion in the U.S. earlier this year, the contactless payment system is now available system-wide in Canada

Following a successful rollout and expansion to more than 3,000 U.S. stores earlier this year, 7-Eleven has brought its Mobile Checkout service north of the border, offering the service at all of its more than 600 stores.

The convenience giant first introduced Mobile Checkout in the U.S. in 2018, and the pandemic has further underscored the importance of contactless payment options, says 7-Eleven Canada vice-president and general manager Norman Hower.

“We feel this is going to be something customers will embrace quickly, and once they try it, they’ll love it,” says Hower. 7-Eleven has “perfected” Mobile Checkout in the U.S., he says, with more than one million uses since its introduction. Those users are coming back to its stores more often, and providing positive feedback on Mobile Checkout’s convenience and ease of use.

The Mobile Checkout service is available to customers via the 7Rewards loyalty program on the 7-Eleven app. Customers scan items as they shop, with discounts and promotions applied automatically. When they’re ready to leave, they confirm their purchase by scanning an on-screen QR code at a confirmation station before exiting the store.

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The service won’t have any impact on staffing levels, with Hower saying that greater customer adoption will allow employees to devote more time to other functions, such as food prep and cleaning.

7-Eleven Canada currently has about five million customers enrolled in the 7Rewards program, and Hower says the hope is more people will be encouraged to enroll once they discover the service and its ease and convenience.

The company is incentivizing its customers to try Mobile Checkout by offering 10x the rewards points on every purchase using the tool. It is also trying to upsell customers by offering them a discount when purchasing multiples of an item.

“Promos and bundles, over the last two years in particular, have grown a lot,” says Hower. “People are looking for value, and when they find it, especially if it’s marketing leading or compelling, they’ll grab [another one] even if they’re not going to consume it immediately, because they like the savings.”

Hower says it’s too early to tell if Mobile Checkout will have any impact on how long customers stay in the store. Many 7-Eleven customers are already in and out of its stores in less than 90 seconds, he says.

The typical 7-Eleven store now has well over 2,000 SKUs and has expanded its product assortment in areas such as grocery, including “healthy-to-go” items that are gluten-free and organic. “These aren’t items that people typically associate with convenience stores, but we’re seeing customers really respond positively as we’ve added these items.”

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