We’ve all done it. You’re in-line waiting to check out, casually browsing the shelf next to you. Suddenly, your eyes fall on that perfect treat you didn’t know you wanted a moment ago. Without thinking too much about it, you pick it up and throw it in your basket. What you’ve just done is called Impulse Purchasing, and it is one of the most important aspects of running a successful C-store. In fact, according to one national study, impulse purchases were responsible for nearly 80% of all C-store revenue last year.
With so much potential money to be made, it’s an aspect of your company you cannot afford to neglect. However, there is an art to convincing a customer to “buy in the moment.” In this post, we are going to give you three critical tips to boost your C-store’s impulse sales. Even if you don’t own a C-store, you should keep reading. These are foundational impulse purchasing techniques that can easily be applied to restaurants, catering services, commercial cafeterias, or anywhere you may want to sell something to a customer. So without any further ado…
#1 Analyze Your Customer’s Needs And Habits
The first step to increase impulse purchasing is to really understand how your customers shop in your c-store. You should begin by reviewing your sales records to establish the kinds of goods your customers are buying. By understanding what your customers want, you can use this data to leverage their shopping experience. For example, you can organize your store based on what your customer’s tend to shop for. Make it easy for your customers to buy your top selling items by putting them in highly visible, easily accessible and convenient places, while leaving the less popular items in the back corner.
(Bonus tip: customers are 3x more likely to impulse buy something at eye level. Think about that while you’re organizing your sales counter.)
#2 Cross Merchandising
Another excellent strategy for boosting impulse purchases is to group what are known as “complimentary goods.” Take coffee and donuts for example. Many people enjoy eating a donut more when they can wash it down with a hot cup of coffee. Because both products get better when paired with each other, the two are complimentary goods. As a retailer, it would be a good idea to cross merchandise by putting fresh pastries in a display case next to where you serve your coffee. By grouping complimentary goods, customers tend to “discover” products they didn’t know they wanted or needed when they walked in. Not only does customer satisfaction skyrocket, but sales of both complimentary goods increase as well.
#3 Catch Your Customer’s Eye
The way a product is presented is the most important factor in whether a customer decides to buy it. Countless studies across the decades have all arrived at the same conclusion. More than price, and more than quality, the way a product looks is the deciding factor for your customers. In fact, one national C-store chain reported a 75% increase in impulse purchases of fried chicken last year. The only change they made was an upgrade to more modern and attractive display cases.
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes for a moment. You need to choose which local C-store you’re going to shop. One store keeps their merchandise scattered and disorganized all over their sales counter. Another store keeps their products well-lit, clean, and organized in display cases. Obviously, you are going to shop at the second store.
Modern C-Store equipment manufacturers invest significant time and money in designing eye catching, attractive equipment to show off your food and merchandise. Investing in this equipment is a great way to impress your customers, drive up impulse purchases, and thereby generate more total revenue. Remember, presenting your products to your customers as organized, well lit, fresh, clean, and convenient will always lead to profitable returns!
Need Some Help? We Are Here For You.
Spokane Restaurant Equipment is the Inland Northwest’s go-to experts on C-stores and C-Store equipment. With over 60,000 sq. ft. of inventory in stock, we are the premier supplier of new and used equipment in the Inland Northwest. From display cases, to merchandisers, coolers, beverage machines, ice-cream equipment, and even hard to find items, we are your complete C-store resource. Plus, if we don’t have what you are looking for, we will help you find it. Check us out!
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