We’re almost halfway through 2019 and as always, convenience stores are as popular as ever. Which is no surprise—people are in a hurry and they need snacks that are convenient and easy to grab. But it’s important to stay on top of things, to examine trends, and to respond accordingly so that you can appeal to new customers and keep your old ones happy. Here are the convenience store trends for 2019.
4 Convenience Store Trends To Consider Adopting
1. Customers want convenience
Convenience store shoppers are usually there for one reason: to get snacks that they can store and eat on the go. This means food needs to already be prepared and ready to be grabbed. They want portable snacks and re-sealable packaging so they can eat, then close up the container and save the rest for later, keeping it fresh. And although candy and indulgent treats are always popular, healthy snacks with whole, natural ingredients are also becoming increasingly popular. As they peruse your snacks, customers are looking for clear packaging with simple, straightforward ingredients.
2. Optimize your layout
Most customers are inside the store for less than three minutes, so it’s important to make sure your most popular items are easy to find. Think about things like how many aisles your customer will have to travel, how high your shelves are, and how long your aisles are. If your customers have to trudge through long aisles just to find the gum they came in to buy, you probably haven’t optimized your layout and your customers aren’t going to view your store as very convenient. In fact, most shoppers buy some form of candy, gum, or mints, so those should be some of your most accessible and easy-to-find items.
3. Speed up the checkout
Remember that your customers want to be in and out as quickly as possible and, depending on how busy you are, they’re likely to spend the majority of their time inside standing in line. So use that time wisely. Most c-stores have found success stocking treats like candy, mints, and gum under, on, and around the counter. Even if your customers didn’t originally come in for candy or gum, your convenient display will remind them that their gum supply is low and they need to re-stock.
4. Use digitization
Since we’re into speed and convenience, some increased digitization—think touchscreen and online ordering—is a great place to start. And the more digitized your ordering and checkout process is, the more customer data you’ll be able to gather and analyze.
Great C-Stores Need Great Snacks!
It’s important to learn more about your customer behaviors, wants and needs. If you’re not learning, adapting, and customizing your store, then another c-store owner is and in doing so, gaining a huge competitive advantage. For more tips on managing your c-store and access to great snacks your customers will love, contact our team today.