In tight competition with big retailers, convenience stores are forced to provide a diverse range of products in a limited space while keeping prices low to attract customers, making profitability an extremely challenging task.
However, there are practices storeowners can embrace to help keep their budgets out of the red, according to LA Top Distributor, which offers ways convenience stores can improve sales.
It said keeping the checkout area neat and uncluttered is a must because this is the only area where a customer usually interacts with an employee.
“Owners sometimes place an overabundance of items here in the hope that customers will purchase them at the last minute as impulse buys, but these items need to be limited. Display small ‘throw in bag’ products here, and not much else. An uncluttered checkout area won't overload the senses and it keeps customers happy,” LA Top Distributor said.
Storeowners must also have the ability to cater to multiple types of convenience store customers — from regular to last-minute shoppers.
Regular shoppers are those who come in and go out quickly and tend to always buy the same item, such as a pack of cigarettes. Last-minute shoppers are those who frantically need to find specific items and are most concerned with store organization.
Convenience storeowners are likewise advised to keep track of their inventory and follow trends.
“If a storeowner consistently finds themselves running out of stock on an item, it's not the customers' fault for buying too much. Owners should constantly be tuned in to their inventory so they can know exactly what to get, when to get it, and how much of it they need.”
According to experts, a successful owner pays attention to what sells and what doesn't, and stays in touch with overall market trends. “Getting feedback from customers is a great way to find out if there is a new item making waves that the owner should stock. Stores should never be afraid to test carrying new items because, as smaller establishments, they can do so without much risk if the item doesn't sell well.”