f you run a C-Store business, you need to make certain that you're standing out from the pack and remaining competitive. The C-Store business is worth more than $37 billion today. This means that you have a lot of competitors to deal with when vying for customers' long-term attention.
When you'd like to build a base of loyal customers, there are a variety of steps you can take to make that happen. So, how can you start?
These tips will help you build customer loyalty in your C-Store business.
Nearly 55% of consumers are loyal to a handful (one to five) brands. Since people have loads of options and companies vying for their attention, it's important that you formalize the process of becoming one of those handfuls of brands in the customer's life.
Implementing C-Store loyalty programs is one of the best ways to make this happen.
A loyalty program provides discounts, promotions, freebies, points, and incentives to customers who shop with your C-Store. You typically use these programs by gathering a customer's phone number, e-mail address, or other information. The program may be run with an app, card, barcode, or other tools.
With a loyalty program, the customer can receive points or discounts with each purchase or can receive an incentive after a certain number of purchases or a dollar amount spent. These programs are one of the best ways to market your business and stay engaged with new customers who will soon give you repeat business.
Quality of service is the great equalizer for C-Stores. Having convenience store loyalty programs alone won't work unless people appreciate the experience of doing business with you.
Make sure that you set a high standard with your convenience store and go above and beyond to provide service for each customer. This means focusing on solving problems, offering clear communication, and offering pleasantness with each transaction. Word will spread about these positive customer experiences, and people will go out of their way to patronize your business instead of going elsewhere.
When the standards are set high, you won't have a problem making your customers feel worthwhile and appreciated. This is the foundation for customer loyalty no matter what kind of business you run.
Give yourself time to train your employees so that they are able to run your convenience store thoroughly and correctly. When your employees are well-trained, it is inevitable that the customer experience will be worthwhile.
People will come away with fewer complaints and your reviews will begin to reflect that. Do your due diligence and make sure that these employees also love their job, because this will come across in the way that they treat customers.
Make sure that the best employees are rewarded and that they are bumped up to management so that the next line of employees is also well-trained.
Loyal customers appreciate the experience of shopping with you, but the bottom line still matters. Take the time to set fair and competitive prices that make people want to come back.
Remember that you are no longer just competing with the convenience store down the block or the big grocery store in town – you're also competing with every business on the internet. When your prices are fair and affordable, people will go out of their way to give you their business and will remain loyal for years to come.
Study the market and make sure that you can sell your products in a way that still delivers a profit. You'll need to mix in a combination of discounts and promotions that will also sweeten the deal for customers. Well-timed discounts and promotions will also help you keep your inventory moving so that you're not dealing with waste due to products going bad.
Set pricing strategies that will help your C-Store thrive and customers will keep coming back.
Give Options for Purchasing and Ordering
Your customer base is used to business models that put convenience at their fingertips. Since your entire business revolves around convenience, make sure that you're up-to-date on the best practices and processes.
Embrace technology like self-checkout stations for people to use. Allow people to order ahead or place curbside or pickup orders. having access to options like this will make people want to keep doing business with you, and you can enjoy an increase in sales and profits in the meantime.
You will also get repeat visitors when you have quality products that people appreciate. Only stock the highest-quality products and brands that are sought-after, and complete surveys to find out what people like and are looking for.
Keep these products fresh by cycling them out when they are close to expiring. Pay attention to what's selling the best and keep your inventory stocked to the fullest.
Finally, do your due diligence by making sure that your store is attractive, clean, smells good, and is aesthetically pleasing. Convenience stores get a lot of foot traffic, so keep the exterior painted and the parking lot free of litter and debris.
Keep your sign clear and visible, and make sure that people have an amazing experience from the time they step foot onto your property.
Customer loyalty is one of the best things that you can invest in for your C-Store. These are the tips that will keep people coming back time after time.
It's All Goods is happy to help you with all of your C-Store needs. Take the time to contact us online or by calling.