Candy is an essential convenience category and all-around customer favorite.
In fact, a massive 80% of consumers reported purchasing non-chocolate candy since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic began, according to the National Confectioners Association (NCA). And the the non-chocolate candy category is expected to reach $12.2 billion in sales by 2024.
Here are some of the top tactics for cross-merchandising candy at a c-store:
One of the most natural and therefore best ways of cross-merchandising candy is to simply place a box or two of best-selling candy at the fountain and frozen drink areas.
They say that a display is “undressed” without a clear, concise price on it. It is also a fact that the words “special,” “sale” or “save” greatly increases your chances of making that sale. For example, during the summer months, your signage might read, “SAVE 50 CENTS – 32 oz. Fountain and King Size Snickers just $x.xx!”
You could also cross-merchandise candy with chips or with a hot dog or grill item, a two-liter or 20-ounce cooler drink, or even iced or hot coffee. The possibilities are endless.
Consider cross-merchandising hanging bagged candy with two-liter drinks and or big bag chips. After all, who doesn’t like sweet and salty?
Signage, of course, should be on your reader boards/message boards, on your dispenser scrolling apparatus, on your front door glass (no more than two signs per door), in your restrooms, cross-merchandised on the candy rack and fountain/cooler and at each cash register.
Lastly, I am a great believer in suggestive selling contests as well as the use of secret shoppers who hand out prizes on the spot for great suggestive selling techniques and efforts. We must do a better job of encouraging our employees to suggestive sell, and nothing inspires employees to up their performance like a pat on the back — or, better yet, a pat on the back with a $5 or $10 bill.
There is an old-fashioned school of thought that says, “I am not going to pay extra for getting employees to do what they are already being paid to do.” I pose the question, “How is that working out for you?” Most of us have not done a good job of teaching or encouraging employees to suggestive sell. Think of the upside of higher sales and more effective and happier sales associates!