Convenience stores are among the lowest margin businesses to operate. Fine tuning and optimization are paramount to successfully profiting in this industry. Here are some tips to boost convenience store profits.
MAKE YOURSELF NOTICEABLE
Convenience store are made to be just that, convenient. People today look for convenience in the most convenient way and that is searching from their phone. You don’t need to have an expensive website to make sure you show up on Google Maps, Yelp, Facebook, ect. It costs nothing to list on these sites. Take a minute to search for your business and make sure what comes up conveys where you are, when your open, what specialty items you carry (beer, wine, cigarettes, ATM, hot food, coffee, ect.). A little personalization lets customers know you’re the answer to their prayers when searching for that last minute item.
As a retailer your business is selling goods, but very few businesses implement a suggestive selling program. We’ve all hear “Would you like fries with that?” There is a reason for this, and it is called suggestive selling. If your store sells beer or wine always ask “Do you need a bottle opener/cork screw with that?” Start by looking at your most popular sales items and brainstorm some incremental item that would go along with it. If cigarettes are popular are you ALWAYS recommending a lighter? You would be surprised how often people will thank you for the recommendation and how adding a few dollars to each transaction can compound over the year.
To be convenient, you need to be open. Long hours call for long runtimes for lights. Upgrades in LED technology have come a long way and can dramatically reduce your electrical costs while simultaneously making your store brighter and more welcoming. Going from a T12 fluorescent to a T8 LED can save as much as 60% on energy and last twice as long while running cooler. Lowering the thermostat a degree or two in the winter or raising it slightly in the summer can also compound to reduce your energy bill.
DON’T MISS SALES WITH A MINUMUM
Keep a good handle on inventory. Frustrating customers by being out of stock of a basic necessity or an item that regular customers love is not good for business. Make sure you anticipate your supply. The other way to lose a sale is to enforce a minimum spend for credit cards. The best way to handle this is through PayLo, a patented automatic cash discount program. Your business no longer has to pay the processing fees on each transaction. This gives your customer the convenience of paying as they choose while not putting you at a deficit and saving your business thousands of dollars.