The Key to Driving C-Store Impulse Buys

Leveraging a shopper’s impulsiveness can mean additional sales opportunities for the keen convenience store merchandiser—if your store provides the right experience.

So what drives impulse buys in the convenience store channel? 

Before we can answer this question, we need to examine a shopper’s typical experience.  An average shopper’s path to purchase looks like this:

  1. Shopper enters store.
  2. Spends 2 minutes 19 seconds shopping.
  3. 60% of traffic converts to buyers.
  4. Average purchase includes 2.3 items (only 38% of buyers purchase just one item).
  5. Average spend is $6.02.
  6. Average consumer spends 25 seconds at checkout but 33% spend 30 seconds or more in line!

As store owners, if we can increase the per item purchase from 2.3 to 3 or more, that will drive average spend much higher.  Likewise, if we can give the 38% of buyers that purchased just one item a reason to add to their cart, average spend will be much higher.  Here are a few tips to help:

Take advantage of idle time.
On average consumers spend 25 seconds at checkout (and some spend more than 30 seconds). Put yourself in the consumer’s shoes and surround them with product choices and displays to entice additional purchases as they wait.

Fill your end caps.
End caps can be money in the bank for convenience stores.  Look at each of your displays and ensure you’re taking advantage of all end cap space. At Mister Snacks, we provide a line of end cap displays if you find your store isn’t cashing in.

Countertops are the tops!


The counter just might be the last place to increase cart spend, so make the most of it!  Instead of filling your checkout countertop with a lonely take a penny, leave a penny jar, use that space to drive impulse sales.  Look for low cost items with high margins that don’t take up a lot of space and place those on your counter.  (Mister Snacks offers a counter-top caddy that is perfect to use in this space.)

High margins should have high visibility.

While you are looking to add to the total spend, not every item in your store brings the same profit level.  Look at your profit margins and consider putting items with higher margins in the high traffic, high visibility areas of your store.  If you can increase sales of higher margin items, you’ll drive higher profitability and profits.

Use clip strips.

Clip strips are a great way to add more volume in a tight floor plan.  Look for items that are low cost and compliment your existing product lines. Many Mister Snacks clients use clip strips to pair dollar items with complimentary items in the c-store.  Consider adding a clip strip with snack mix to a beverage cooler or a healthy snack mix near a lunch counter.

Ready to start driving more impulse buys?  Call Mister Snacks!
At Mister Snacks, we consult with convenience stores all across the country.  Our product specialists will help you find items with high profit margins and high turn rates to drive more impulse buys in your store.  From counter top caddies to end cap displays to clip strips, we can help you build additional revenue for your store.  Contact us today!

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