Impulse sales are an area where convenience stores hold a huge advantage over Big Box stores. Why, you ask? C-stores are relatively small compared to the Walmarts and Targets of the world, so customers find it significantly easier to find items. Plus, because of that size difference sales associates are more apt to know right where that elusive item is located.
One key to driving impulse sales is to bring categories to a designated spot at the checkout area, so they see the items when they check out. Rotate one category to this ‘front-and-center’ area each week to showcase the various items your store offers. If customers only stop in for snacks or a beverage, they may not realize some of the wonderful products you offer, until you show them.
I even convinced my Mayfield Milk Representative to bring me brand new empty milk and dairy cartons for our employees to place by the register. I wanted customers to think, ‘Don’t forget the milk!’ I did the same for butter, cottage cheese and even salad dressing, because I wanted customers to see them and think, “I didn’t know they carried those items!” Next time they needed butter, they knew they could come to our store for the item.
Cigarette lighters are a popular impulse item that should always featured near your point of sale (POS). At a chain I worked at, we sold 3,000 lighters at one busy store in less than a month by getting our supplier to discount them to us and building an attractive suggestive selling contest around them and, we realized a 64% margin — talk about a ‘Win, Win, Win’ for customers, employees and owners.
Think about matching the featured product to the occasion:
- Holidays\Cold Beer
- Winter Weather\Cloth Gloves and Toboggin Hats
- Rain\Umbrellas & Ponchos
Again, you’re not only driving impulse sales in the moment, but you’re also alerting customers to the various items your store offers, so the next time they need milk, an umbrella, sunglasses or salad dressing, they know they can stop at your convenience store.