Convenience stores along with other traditional, brick-and-mortar retailers are now facing the threat of extinction as customers flock to web-based retailers for their needs. Apparently a few keystrokes and mouse clicks here and there are more convenient than what actual convenience stores have to offer. While some businesses can afford to make the transition from a ground to virtual base, other businesses like local convenience stores are unable to do so and are left to compete against other retailers while trying to offset the disadvantages of overhead costs and scarce target market.
Provide Excellent Service
Employees are the backbone of any service-oriented business. Make sure the workforce serving your customers are friendly, reliable, and helpful. Convenience stores can be crowded and loud, but a friendly gesture like smiling and helping others find items can still make the experience enjoyable. Over time, this builds a loyal customer base. Reward your employees for their exceptional customer service skills by giving bonuses and perks.
Offer Something Unique
This doesn’t mean you should experiment and make your own magical product line. Instead, look for items that are rare in your area. Selling the same stuff as your competitors doesn’t give your customers enough reason to visit your store regularly. Setting yourself apart leads to a boost in sales. If you’re the only one selling the product in a 5-mile radius, it is almost certain demand for that specific product will come through your doors. For example, if there are no ice cream shops in the area, selling frozen yogurt from a Yumz express kiosk is a great way to boost sales.
Merchandising Products Effectively
How you display items on shelves and market them can greatly impact sales and profits. Customers are more likely to purchase products that are neatly displayed and aesthetically appealing. A simple yet powerful technique is to position items that go together. For example, people who are looking for shampoo will also likely be looking for conditioner. Stack the two item types together.
Learn the Trend
Identifying the latest product trends and going with it can be a profitable venture for your convenience store. You don’t want to be selling snow shovels and salt bags during Spring season or selling ice cream and Popsicle sticks during winter. Furthermore, you don’t want your shelf items to be outdated with cassette tapes and wired computer mouses.
Start a Loyalty Program
For example, you give a customer a punch card wherein he/she gets a free can of soda or a bag of chips once the required number of purchases have been completed. This will get them to shop more frequently in your convenience store. You can also offer deal of the day or deals of the week. Offer your hot dogs for just $1 on Tuesday.
When running a convenience store, you will encounter a lot of competition. However, there are many ways you can stay ahead by offering one of a kind products and great service!