Convenience store retailers need to understand why it is important to cross-merchandise candy, as it will help them to see more of this powerhouse category.
Cross-merchandising is the technique of displaying complementary products next to each other. A notable advantage is that it can lead to additional sales; a somewhat more subtle advantage is the appreciation that shoppers can feel and loyalty they can develop for helping them see more possibilities, remember other items they need and save money via promotions. It can also help launch new products by displaying them in proximity to established brands.
C-stores see success cross-merchandising candy with hot dispensed beverages at the coffee bar. Gum and mints can be particularly useful here as coffee drinkers may want to freshen their breathe after drinking their coffee, and a small display of gum or mints here can drive an impulse buy. Candy bars can also be successful at the coffee bar to encourage shoppers to pickup a snack to eat with their brew. Signage can help draw customer attention to the display and encourage a sale.
For c-stores with foodservice programs, cross merchandising candy at the food counter can encourage customers to add a treat to their basket for dessert. Other popular ways to cross-merchandise candy include placing it on or adjacent to the cold vault to encourage customers to select a candy bar when they grab their beverage.
Higher-ticket candies are among the most giftable items that convenience stores carry, which means cross-merchandising things like wrapping paper, gift bags, tissue paper, ribbons and bows next to them makes sense, if a c-store carries any of those items. In a similar vein, merchandising candies alongside greeting cards or gift cards can also build ring.
Holidays such as Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day present still more excellent opportunities for cross-merchandising the more expensive gift candies. Mugs, candles, beauty care, gift cards, small gadgets and more all match up well and can go together as a gift.
People who grab candy are usually looking for a mood booster, so c-stores or travel centers that offer personal care items like candles, lotions or bath bombs would be wise to cross-merchandise these items with candy. Chocolate can also pair well with wine, offering a cross-merchandising opportunity for c-stores that offer wine sales.
C-stores have nothing to lose by testing the use of various cross-merchandising strategies to see what pairing might appeal most to their customer base.