To many consumers, a convenience store means taking a quick break in getting from point A to point B. It’s a small beacon of respite to refuel one’s vehicle and body with refreshments. It stands as an oasis in the desert of interstates, allowing visitors to stretch their legs, freshen up, and refocus on the journey ahead. While your customers may only visit your store for a few brief moments, you can take steps to make their experience positive and pleasant, increasing your chance for boosted sales in the future. With more than 40 years of experience in running convenience stores, HSO has discovered which strategies are the most effective in bringing in customers and improving your bottom line. Here are our 10 tips to help you improve and make your convenience store a hit:
Keep Bathrooms Spotless
Most people believe that high-quality businesses and pristine bathrooms go hand-in-hand. When a customer enters a messy restroom, he or she may believe that your business is as subpar as your cleaning skills. If you want to satisfy your customers and keep them coming back, make sure your bathrooms are clean and stocked. Spot-cleaning, daily cleaning, and keeping supplies available at all times can help ensure that your restroom won’t stall your business.
Illuminate the Forecourt
Did you know that well-lit gas stations have 50% more visits than those with below-average forecourt lighting? A 2017 study showed a strong correlation between overnight foot traffic and the quality of outside lighting. Customers equate illuminated spaces as safe and monitored, especially during dawn and the evening hours. Keep tabs on your lights and replace any that may go out. Consider upgrading your lighting to LED if you haven’t already – they are cost-effective and environmentally-friendly as well!
Manage Your Inventory and Offer More Products
Customers expect convenience stores to be stocked with an eclectic variety of items. Monitor your inventory at least once every day and restock when necessary. If you want to be successful, you never want to be caught without inventory; otherwise, you’ll miss out on sales and customers may choose to visit competitors to get what they need. Think outside of the box and try offering a greater assortment of products as well – you never know what might catch a customer’s eye!
Keep it Organized
We humans are drawn to aesthetically pleasing surroundings. Ensure that your aisles are wide and the shelves are clearly organized with prices labeled properly and the products facing forward. This helps your customers feel comfortable and find what they’re looking for quickly and efficiently!
Increase Interior Visibility for Your Cashiers
Speaking of your store’s interior, it’s a wise idea to give your cashiers a good bird’s eye view of what’s happening in the store. Choose shelves that allow your cashiers to see where every customer is at all times. Additionally, position smaller items where your employees can easily see them.
Hire and Reward Attentive Staff
Positive or negative, people remember customer service and will spread the word to their friends and family. Hire and train staff members to assist all customers in a quick, friendly, and helpful manner at all times. The easier your employees make the shopping experience, the more likely you will see customers return in the future. Reward employees for above-and-beyond customer service to help them remain motivated!
Try Testing New Products
Keep tabs on hot new items that appear in the market. Has a new candy bar or soda flavor come out? Take note of those overnight sensations and stock up on them for a set amount of time. Your customers might keep visiting your store to see what new products are on your shelves more frequently!
Clean the Soda Fountain and Food Areas
No one likes a messy, semi-functional food station. Check this area of your convenience store frequently and clean it as needed. Ensure that the coffee is made, utensils are restocked, and the beverage flavors on the machines are operating properly. Additionally, make time to clean and sanitize the equipment to both eradicate germs and prolong the life of your equipment, including the fountain machine heads. Your customers will appreciate the attention to detail!
Invest in Your Store
Take pride in your store by making it a functional, safe place to work and shop. Install security cameras and electronic door systems to increase safety and repeat customers. Fix the pothole in your parking lot and repaint the parking spots when needed. Pay attention to your store’s appearance and keep it clean and inviting. Convenience stores that have good upkeep tend to attract customers and keep them coming back!
Streamline the Checkout Experience
While it’s tempting to add new products and displays to your checkout counter, your customers will quickly feel overwhelmed. Take a look at the display from the other side of the counter – does it look neat and organized? Is there too much clutter? Reserve the checkout area for small impulse purchases and distribute other items strategically throughout the store.
Of course, it’s vital that you pay attention to your gasoline and diesel levels at the pumps as well. When it comes to bulk fuel, count on Home Service Oil to provide you with what you need. Call us today at 1-800-467-5044 or visit us at www.hsoil.com to get started.