It’s advisable that convenience store owners research how to increase income. As a busy independent retailer, determining how much inventory you need and where products should go depending on the structure of the store may be difficult. The methods and tips outlined below will show you how to develop and run your business in the best possible way.
Owners of small to mid-sized retailer stores, convenience stores, and bodegas must analyze their inventory in order to enhance sales. This is the most important factor in a retail store’s success. Merchants must constantly be on top of inventory management in order to carry what their consumers desire and ensure that the products are in sufficient supply.
It is also vital for small businesses to carry a diverse assortment of products. “You want to be known as the local store that offers everything customers need. To identify sales trends, as a store owner or manager, you must ensure that they stay up to date with popular items and pay attention to shipping schedules,” said Elie Katz, president and CEO of National Retail Solutions. “If you want to stay up to date with popular items, you also must have trustworthy vendors to deliver the products to your store in a timely manner. This is critical because if you don’t obtain the goods in a timely manner, current and potential customers will go elsewhere to shop and may never return. Customer loyalty is a hallmark success marker of local bodegas. Shoppers are creatures of habit and tend to shop and reshop in the same locations – as long as they can find what they need when they need it.”
So, do your research and place orders to stock what your customers seem to want. Check your point-of-sale system (POS) for data from last holiday season, for example, to know what is going to likely sell fastest this year. Understocking inventory means lost revenue, which costs you money – and as a small business owner, you can’t afford to lose money. You must have adequate things on hand, or you will have discontented consumers who will not remain loyal. But overstocking can also be wasteful and hit your bottom line. You don’t want boxes in the warehouse accumulating dust to the point where they’ll be no longer essential – or expired – by the time you’re ready to put them out on your shelves.
Overstocking is also a recipe for disaster since you may struggle to be organized and unable to locate specific products when your inventory becomes too congested. When managing inventory, there are a few crucial aspects to keep in mind. Analyze your goods’ shelf life and distinguish batch versus bulk orders, to assure how much inventory you can manage.
“A busy retailer may be unable to manage inventory on their own. A spreadsheet (or a few spreadsheets) can only take you so far. High-tech POS systems with features such as sales reports and online inventory trackers can come in handy for a business to quickly, efficiently figure out what they have in the stockroom and what inventory they need to purchase,” Katz said. “Inventory tracking is a core feature with the best POS systems, with some systems even enabling the store owner to purchase inventory right within the POS merchant interface.”
Some POS systems offer services such as conducting promotions and customer loyalty programs that are straightforward and convenient to use. They can provide discounts for future shopping trips based on what a customer buys, as well as special offers to first-time consumers. Customer loyalty programs, in which consumers receive coupons or free items after having to spend a certain amount of money, can be tracked with a state-of-the-art POS system.
“Examine your store’s physical layout as well. To make it easy for people to shop, ensure items are grouped together logically on the shelves. If you have over-the-counter medicines, for example, you might want to have them featured near all of the first-aid supplies, to make it simpler for consumers to discover,” Katz said. “A planogram is a great way to figure out how your store should be laid out. Planograms are diagrams that show where and how items should be presented in a store to help maximize space and increase sales. As a visual aid, a planogram makes it straightforward to see where and how objects should be placed.”
And of course, offering credit card payment acceptance is key to running a busy and successful convenience store. When integrated with your point of sale system, credit card processing helps increase customer spending and speeds up checkout. Especially in today’s Covid era, customers appreciate being able to pay with a contactless credit card system over hand-to-hand cash.
“Follow these suggestions to boost sales in your convenience stores and bodegas,” Katz concluded. “The ROI merchants will recognize they have earned their time well spent.”