Step 6: Get to know the customers of your convenience store
It’s a big mistake to think that everyone is your customer, given the shared nature of convenience stores. There are things to consider about your customers. Here are a few of them:
Are your customers’ regulars in your convenience store, and are they one-time buyers of the products you sell? For example, a woman who stops every morning to buy cookies for her daughter before taking her to school can be considered a more valuable customer as opposed to one who is just stopping by once for an item they need.
Are the customers who come to your store from the area where your store is located? If so, you’ll want to make the interior of your store more inviting. You may also want to offer a standing lunch counter, hire great employees, train them to be very welcoming, and make the customer experience more pleasant.
Do your customers spend enough time in your store or are they in a hurry to get out? If so, make the most popular last-minute products such as bread and milk visible and accessible. You must have a staff willing to serve your customers, efficient line management, and a fast checkout system.
Step 7: Decide which products you want to sell in your c-store
In convenience stores, you will find most of the following items:
- Fresh fruit and vegetables
- Alcohol and soft drinks
- Dairy products such as butter, yogurt, cheese
- Desserts and cakes
- Freshly baked goods
- Fast food to go
- Takeaway coffee and other hot drinks
- Newspapers and magazines
- Cigarettes and tobacco
- Many household and grocery items such as toilet paper, tea, coffee, and pet food
Determining your c-store product inventory is no easy task. After all, convenience stores are typically small spaces but their customers expect a wide variety of products. It’s important to maximize your product catalog without overwhelming your stockroom or shelves. Listen to your shoppers and don’t be afraid to improvise as you go.
2. Is Owning a Convenience Store Profitable?
No entrepreneur wants to start a business that is not profitable, and there are plenty of profitable convenience stores out there. But can you make $1 or $2 million annually running just a convenience store? Well, the short answer is yes, but it depends on how well-run your business is.
As a convenience store owner, you constantly face high fixed costs of your products and other expenses such as your inventory, rent, and your payroll. You also have to deal with operating expenses such as utilities while optimizing your product catalog and pricing and attracting foot and car traffic. Convenience store margins are 10-20% higher than a regular grocery store and can be even higher for high-demand products.
To improve your profit margins, it is advisable to calculate and know the best-selling products’ margins to better strengthen your inventory and marketing strategy around these products. Make sure that these products are available and well-presented in your store.
See related: KORONA POS ABC Retail Analysis
Tobacco products, beer, wine, gas, and automotive supplies are considered one of the products that should be prioritized to maximize profit margins. You should also think about those products around your point of sale. Don’t waste an opportunity to promote impulse purchases and pad your average sale value.
So, are convenience stores profitable? The answer is yes, but only if you’re very strategic in your financial management, i.e., reduce unnecessary costs and expenses and maximize your efforts on the items your customers most desire.
3. How To Run A Successful Convenience Store?
A convenience store is a quick way for many consumers to get in and out with what they need in a short amount of time. It’s often an oasis in the highway desert, allowing visitors to stretch their legs, refresh themselves and focus on the journey ahead. Although your customers may only visit your store for a few brief moments, you can still come up with ideas to make their experience positive and enjoyable within your store, thus increasing your chances of growing your sales down the road. Here are some tips to help you to upgrade and run a successful convenience store:
Keep track of your inventory and offer more items
Most customers expect convenience stores to be stocked with a wide assortment of products. Track your inventory at least once a day and replenish it as needed. If you want to succeed, you should never be out of stock; short-stocked items mean missed sales and lost customers.
Therefore, it’s important to understand good inventory management practices to avoid dealing with excess inventory, stockouts, or dead stock. This is also why it is imperative that you use appropriate inventory management software. Do not hesitate to think outside the box and bring in a wider array of products. You never know what might grab a customer’s attention!
Several factors influence the efficiency of a POS system. In addition to product layout and accessibility, streamlining the checkout experience requires a simple and easy checkout interface. It also required effective planning to ensure that you have the requisite staff to handle your sales volume. These factors can be effectively managed with back-office software solutions for convenience stores.
When customers walk into a cluttered bathroom, they may think your business is just as unimpressive as your cleaning skills. If you want to keep your customers happy and coming back, make sure your bathrooms are clean and well-stocked. Spot cleaning, daily cleaning, and having supplies on hand around the clock can help ensure that your restrooms don’t slow down your business.
Increase the visibility inside for your cashiers
When talking about the interior of your store, it’s a great idea to give your cashiers a clear view of what’s going on in the store. Choose shelves that allow your cashiers to see where each shopper is at any given time. Also, display small items where your employees can easily see them. This also helps to prevent shoplifting.
4. How to Open a Convenience Store: Bottom Line?
Opening a convenience store is a process that requires money, time, and planning. With a good business plan, choice of location, products on the shelves, and affordable prices, you can make your convenience store profitable.
Read more: Opening a Retail Store? Here are 4 Questions To Answer Before Starting
Running a successful convenience store also means using a point-of-sale system that can facilitate your transactions, manage your inventory, provide payroll tracking for your employees, and much more. And that’s where KORONA POS comes in. Our convenience store pos system can provide you with the following features:
- Real-time data & analytics
- Automatic reorder levels
- Product evaluations and metrics
- Theft prevention features
- Cashier action tracking and reports
- C-store POS cashier evaluations
- Quickbooks accounting integration
- Time-sensitive sales reports
- Multi-location scalability
- Stock inventory transfers
- Scanned inventory capabilities
Click on the button below now to try KORONA POS for free, and check out our other How to Open… guides if you’re curious: