How do you optimise your convenience store to offer the perfect solution for your customers?

 
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It’s a highly competitive marketplace out there. These days, shoppers have a huge amount of choice when it comes to where they buy their groceries. It’s no longer enough to cross your fingers and hope for increased footfall – you have to actively make footfall happen. The big question is how?

Make no mistake… the customers are there. In fact, over the last year alone, consumers have spent more in convenience stores when compared with the year previously. So, how do you optimise their in-store experience? Well, the first thing is to look at what they are actually buying when they pop into a franchise store:

  • Tobacco
  • Alcohol
  • Chilled food
  • Canned groceries
  • Packaged groceries

By recognising what is being bought, you can also recognise changes in shopper behaviour, therefore ensuring that stock levels are managed effectively so you capitalise on increased demand.

But it’s not only about what you sell when it comes to making the most of your franchise opportunities – it’s also about how you sell it too. Pay attention to store layout and where popular items are located. After all, the easier they are to find, the more chance you’ve got of people buying them.

So far, so positive when it comes to optimising your retail franchise. Now, let’s dial down into even more detail about other ways you can make the most of these unmissable opportunities.

Keeping it local – think about who’s shopping with you

UK franchise stores account for over one fifth of the total British grocery market. Success is there to be had – and built upon. But it really does pay to know more about who your shoppers are.

Did you know 80% of shoppers travel less than a mile to their local convenience store. Your best customers really are locals in every sense of the word… so, it’s important to always think about who you are selling to, who is coming into your store and the local community in general.

Questions to ask…

Is your store in an area where tradesmen are regularly passing through?
If so, should you make a point of having a bigger selection of food-to-go options, such as, meal deals, snacks, pasties, hot drinks, sausage rolls etc.?

Or, is your store popular with commuters?
If it is, think about what they want and how much / little time they might have. Make purchasing decisions easy for them by making it easy for them to find what they want.

How relevant is your in-store messaging?

Ensuring that you are talking to your customers in the right way is key. Convenience store consumers are typically 34-54 years of age – so get your in-store advertising and signage on point to make the most impact… and maximise sales!

 

Think shoppers, think 3 key facts

Three important things to think about when it comes to your shoppers, your community, and what you can do to make a real difference:

  1. Value your customers – 22% of customers visit their local convenience store every single day, compared with just 2% when compared to supermarkets. These are loyal, readymade customers who are literally right on your doorstep! As such, they are the bedrock of your business and must be valued accordingly!
  2. Know what they want – regular customers are loyal customers and will often come in-store to buy the same items time and again. Don’t only make sure you have the right items in stock but get to know your customers too. After all, the more valued they feel, the more they will shop with you
  3. Become part of the fabric of your community – convenience stores are absolutely fundamental to everything our communities are about. Embrace that and capitalise on it. Get to know what’s going on where you live by getting involved with local charities and schools. Many of them will run events which you can take part in, making your store and your customers even more inseparable.

 

Be a vital part of your community…

UK communities rank convenience stores as no.1 in ‘most positive impact on local areas’

 

Harness the power of digital

Customers now use their phones and digital devices to do all kinds of things – from browsing products and deals to keeping up to date with the latest news. They also use them to connect with their communities too.

So, it has never been more important for you to have a presence on social media. Harness its power and its scope. Embrace it and make it work for you. Actively engage with your community and the people who live within it.

From Facebook to Instagram, YouTube to Reddit, there’s a whole world of connectivity (and opportunity) out there, whatever your franchise business model may be. Grasp the nettle and take advantage of it. It could make a huge difference to your business.

In conclusion. How can One Stop help you get to know your customers?

When it comes to knowing customers, no one knows more than One Stop. We pride ourselves on running successful franchises – whether that’s setting up a franchise, opening a franchise or franchise ownership in general.

From ordering inventory, to EPOS and general all-round infrastructure, One Stop are on hand to help you know your area, your customers and what it takes to be a success.

Raj Sangha – One Stop franchisee, Birmingham

“One Stop have got it right when it comes to their promotions – they’re as good as anything the big supermarkets can offer. Locally, I don’t think the other shops can compete with us. The technology has made me much more independent… now I can spend more time in my store with my customers. And thanks to the additional space created by the refit, we’ve added a Post Office, which has helped generate extra footfall – in fact, we now serve an extra 1,500 customers a week.”

 

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