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February 18, 2020

How To Maximize The C-Store Experience

As indicated by their name, C-stores sell convenience above all else. And convenience is measured by time—specifically, less time. It seems counterintuitive to say that the less time a customer spends in a C-store can be better for the retailer. But that’s exactly how it is. C-store shoppers seek an experience that is quick and efficient yet stimulating and gratifying.

These folks are time-crunched, spending an average of only four minutes in stores. They trust that a convenience store will have exactly what they need, and they expect to be able to find it immediately. If not, they will feel unsatisfied and move on to another C-store option.

Brian Isaacson, Sales Director of National Retailers at Retail Space Solutions, makes it clear: “Time is money. Convenience is actually giving time back to the customer.” Optimal convenience minimizes the time it takes to find sought out items. At the same time, it also maximizes the overall experience.

It’s time to reinvent the C-store shopping experience.

When a guest enters someone’s home, they like to feel welcome. The same goes for a customer visiting a C-store. A welcoming environment goes a long way to inspire buying decisions and encourage loyalty. The overall appearance of a store—down to every detail—is critical when it comes to customer perception. A store that is organized, clean and attractive actually encourages these rushed shoppers to browse longer, spend more money and likely return. Retail Space Solutions shelving pusher systems create a tidy presentation, with front-facing products that are always within reach.

Create staff efficiencies

Reducing inadequacies improves staff productivity and promotes a more positive attitude among employees. In today’s tight job market, maintaining a full staff is likely to continue to be a big challenge for C-store owners and managers. Cultivating a positive, healthy environment and culture lead to retention of employees who are satisfied with their jobs. Here’s why that’s important: When employees are happy, customers are happy. As Isaacson explains, “Customer service should be the main focus of the staff, but all too often they’re consumed by what seems like continual stocking and conditioning.” For this reason, Retail Space Solutions delivers solutions that cut the time needed to stock and condition shelves.

Design a navigable store layout

The layout of a store dictates foot traffic routes and creates a sense of effortlessness and safety to customers navigating the aisles and perimeter. According to SHOPCO USA, “a convenience store layout should always be designed to allow customers who are in a hurry to be able to complete their purchases quickly and efficiently.”

Nurture loyalty

In the retail world, customer loyalty is the Holy Grail. Attaining it requires hard work and attention to certain key details. Many C-stores are using customer purchase programs to recruit loyal customers. And while those incentive programs can be effective, a continual positive experience can have an even bigger influence on customer loyalty. There are many reasons why customers become return customers: location, products and services offered, staff, amenities, and other assets. C-store customer loyalty can be nurtured, whether or not a formal program is implemented. For example, hiring helpful staff members and regularly introducing new products, as well as maintaining frequently purchased ones, is a vital tactic to drive customer loyalty.