The most cost-effective method of increasing merchandise sales is to analyze your current environment and then make changes – without spending a fortune. Owners could, of course, increase the size of their retail building and stock more items, but that option is costly, time-consuming, and most likely will increase sales but not affect profits.
How C-store owners can dramatically increase profits
When you get down to it, there are basically 3 main methods of increasing profits:
1.Increase the margin on products sold
2.Increase frequency of sales
3.Increase Foot Traffic
Increasing the number of products sold
To increase the amount of products sold, a retailer can either
(1)Increase the number of customers and/or
(2)Increase the amount of products that each customer purchases.
In this article (part 1), let’s discuss how you can invest very little to: Increase the number of products sold.
People are multi-faceted, complex creatures, and thousands upon thousands of scientific studies have been conducted to delineate and determine the motivations that drive people to do the things they do. Did you know that there is an entire branch of psychology devoted just to understanding what drives people to part with their hard-earned dollars and purchase items? It’s called “Consumer Psychology”. While much has yet to be understood, scientists have determined one undeniable truth: Feelings rule. While a person may cognitively know one thing, most often, his emotions will overrule his logic time and time again. Emotion is the motor that drives most of human behavior, including consumer behavior. Undoubtedly, one could spend years reading the voluminous research detailing the myriad factors that cause one to feel (and hence, act) a certain way, but some pertinent data outlines some easy-to-implement changes that can increase sales in your retail establishment.
When a customer enters a gas station or convenience store, we know these things:
1.The customer is often in a hurry and is often focused on things other than your store and your products. Often, they are on their way to or from work or another engagement. They are often talking on their cell phone, concerned about family matters, relationships, work situations, or other factors of their daily lives. Their brief visit to your store may be a “necessity” that they intend to get through as quickly as possible, and oftentimes, they do not pay much attention to anything in this “brief disruption” in their daily agenda.
2.Most gas stations and convenience stores are all pretty much arranged, decorated, and stocked in the same manner. A person rarely remembers whether they were at a Shell Station, a BP Station, or a local mom-and-pop station, because the truth is, they all appear to be one and the same. The design, the layout, the product offerings, the unfriendly clerks…unfortunately, there is very little variation.
To increase the number of customers, I think each store owner should sit down and spend some time thinking about questions such as:
What can I do to make my establishment stand apart from the rest?
Can I add signage to attract people?
Do my products offer something different?
What one thing could I implement that would cause someone to focus on what is right here in this store right now, and cause them to go out of their way to return to this store next time? or even tell their friends and family about it?
Find something unique, be it a new product, service or even create/host some sort of event…
How can I engage all five of my customers’ 5 senses to capture their focus, provide them a great experience in such a short period of time, and enhance their day by coming here?
Ask your suppliers to give you ideas. Their goals are similar to yours in that they want to sell more product and they may be able to help you with promotions, giveaways , etc..