Try these five tips for drawing business from the pumps to your shelves.
“Pit stoppers,” patrons who come in just to use the ATM or bathroom or maybe grab a soda, are the most prevalent type of convenience-store patrons, according to an industry survey.1 These fast-moving revenue opportunities represent nearly four out of 10 visitors to the average store.1
How can you keep pit stoppers in your locations longer and make it more likely that they will buy something in your convenience store? Consider these tips.
1. Entice them while they’re gassing up.
Customers pumping gas are a captive audience. So, ensure that their experience at the pump is a positive one and that your stations are inviting. Signage or video commercials at the pump should alert customers to deals inside. And, if you keep a clean, well-lit, and well-landscaped facility, your customers will be more likely to come inside.2
2. Keep your food and packaging fresh.
A recent survey found that 85% of customers preferred transparent and clear packaging, perhaps seeing it as a sign of freshness. And, according to the same survey, younger customers are inclined to see the grab-and-go food in convenience store refrigerators to be even fresher than delivered food.3
Customers are more loyal to a “fresh” food brand, especially one they already trust.3 So, rethink your packaging information regarding nutrition and freshness dating. For added appeal, add fresh fruits and vegetables, including salad options.3
3. Put smarter payment technology to work.
Payment apps allow for more seamless customer experiences. They can now also include built-in loyalty programs, which reward customers for repeat business, while gathering useful data on customer preferences.4
Using these services, you can provide your customers with deals or rewards based on their spending habits. For example, when they purchase gas, they would receive an offer for a product inside or a discount on a car wash.4 Talk with your M&T commercial banking specialist to find out how you can integrate your point-of-sale operations with apps and other electronic payment technologies.
4. Highlight your extra amenities.
If your ATMs and bathrooms are bringing gas buyers into your convenience store, make a point of highlighting them. Adding eye-catching signage in store windows and at the pump will remind customers that they may need them. In addition, providing air pumps and water will keep customers at your station longer and increase the likelihood of a visit inside.5
5. Monitor customer trends.
Consider larger trends in consumer behavior among your locations. If a specific food and drink is popular this year, make sure you have some type of option that reflects that.6 If your customers frequently come in requesting something you don’t have, now might be the time to start stocking it.
Likewise, if customers are asking for products that you do have, consider placing them in more prominent locations. And pay attention to the outliers among your stores—one near a college campus, for example, may offer unique and lucrative marketing opportunities. You could offer beverage and snack discounts timed to school sporting events or major exam periods.5
Bringing customers from the pump into your convenience stores is a cost-effective way to increase your revenue. By creating multiple reasons for your customers to stop in, you’re ensuring their patronage for years to come.
Contact M&T Bank Merchant Services to discuss what resources you may need to create the best possible customer experience and boost your bottom-line. Call 1-800-724-2240 or visit us online.
This article is for informational purposes only. It is not designed or intended to provide financial, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice since such advice always requires consideration of individual circumstances. Please consult with the professionals of your choice to discuss your situation.