Convenience Store Marketing: Increase Sales with These C-Store Promotions
Small business owners of convenience stores (c-stores) and quick-service restaurants (QSRs) must drive sales in a highly competitive market. Meeting the diverse needs of customers across different areas—urban, suburban, and rural—while also building loyal customer bases is no easy feat.
These kinds of retailers face considerable labor shortages, and product replenishment is hampered by supply chain problems. However, a rise in consumer goods and changing shopping habits have revealed that consumers are eager to purchase the goods they want from their preferred retailers.
How to increase convenience store sales and remain competitive? You must keep up with trends in the convenience store market. The industry constantly evolves, and your success depends on your ability to do the same.
Steal These C-Store Promotions Ideas
We’ve certainly come a long way since the days of pizza carousals and roller grills; now we have everything from self-serve milkshake machines to a Cake Boss vending machine at the Bon Jovi rest stop in New Jersey—certainly one of the most interesting gas station promotion ideas!
As a small business owner, consider utilizing this comprehensive list of c-store marketing ideas for fresh ideas to propel your business forward. Here are some innovative ideas to stay ahead of the curve this summer and beyond:
1. Consider Delivery Options
Online shopping and delivery are massively popular in the US. Now’s the time to join the trend.
Giving customers the choice of delivery opens up a new sales channel for your business, which can help you generate much more revenue. To help get those BBQ wings delivered, you can work with delivery services like Postmates, Seamless, or DoorDash.
Convenience stores are already using this promotional idea; 7-11 began partnering with DoorDash in late 2015.
2. Stock Higher-End Necessities
Travelers inevitably forget a cell phone charger, headphones, or spare batteries. Many will just head over to the closest shop to grab what they need.
Naturally, you also want to be the destination that visitors visit when on a long trip. Stock a wide range of options, including some expensive or name-brand goods. Sell name-brand chargers instead of imitations, because these options tend to have higher mark-ups.
You might offer the most delicious sour cream and onion chips in town, but if you offer some brand-name headphones or phone chargers, you can definitely win the hearts of your customers!
3. Offer Better Food
The typical c-store customer is far more concerned than ever before about the quality and source of their food. Be sure not to let anyone down. Even if the majority of us still enjoy the odd late-night snack of spicy nachos drenched in queso and salsa, it doesn’t have to be your signature item.
Offer higher-quality basics like milk, juice, fruit, etc. to draw in a few of the “express lane” customers from the larger grocery store down the street.
Take Wawa, the popular East Coast convenience store with more than 950 locations. Wawa doesn’t just offer delivery services but also the opportunity to order freshly prepared food, everything from mouthwatering ciabatta sandwiches and rich, flavorful lattes to Wawa Bowls and fruit smoothies.
4. Sell Healthy and Guilty Foods
Offering healthier substitutes to customers is one of the major trends in the convenience store industry.
Consider adding a few vegan, paleo, and gluten-free items to your inventory. Popular convenience store items like CBD gummies, kombucha, and fresh juices might boost impulse purchases and basket sizes.
Convenience stores and quick-serve restaurants have witnessed a substantial increase in sales of their more health conscious (and often more expensive) merchandise by combining product combinations of one healthy item with one guilty pleasure. By mixing bundled offers with more in-demand items, this kind of gas station marketing strategy can also be utilized to pull slow-moving products off the shelf.
5. Get People Talking
Offering a product that sets your convenience store or quick-service restaurant apart from the competition is a terrific way to market your small business.
Burger King, the well-known fast-food restaurant, is an excellent example. The popular fast-food chain debuted its Ghost Pepper Whopper in the fall of 2022. It is a delectable combination of spicy queso, bacon, jalapeños, and ghost pepper cheese on an orange-and-black sesame seed bun.
And just recently, Burger King introduced the new Spider-Verse Whopper. The quarter-pound beef patty comes dressed in classic Swiss cheese in between a red-and-black sesame bun.
6. Stock Something for Everyone
You want to serve as many different consumer types as you can. Convenience stores have the pleasure of drawing customers from almost every demographic, giving them the chance to appeal to everyone. Even if it might be challenging, it is unquestionably a good issue to have.
The “Functional Eater” and the “Busy Balancer” are only two of the seven major consumer groups that experts have identified while analyzing meal purchases. It is crucial to cater to both of these groups equally. You have the chance to serve the mother dropping off her kids at school with the need for something quick and healthy, as well as the nurse finishing their shift at five in the morning with the desire for something warm and greasy.
7. Use a Smart Pricing Strategy
C-stores and QSRs can become smart with price structuring and item placement at the store, just like any other retail establishment. You can experiment with a variety of pricing techniques, to be sure.
For instance, you can pair the $3 lighter that is on display next to the three-wick candles that you sell in your store. Customers frequently don’t pay attention to the cost of smaller things, especially when they’re offered a fantastic deal.
8. Keep Your Bathrooms Clean
Don’t let your c-store or quick service restaurant become that location. Most of us have at some point encountered the challenge of entering a convenience store to use the restroom and ultimately leaving after witnessing how poorly maintained it was.
Make a name for yourself as the business with consistently spotless bathrooms. Whether you’re traveling cross-country, doing your grocery shopping, or treating yourself to some retail therapy, you’ll occasionally come across businesses where the restrooms include a phone number to call or a manager you can speak to in person if the cleanliness is subpar.
9. Offer Alcoholic Beverages
As summer draws near, many tourists will stop by your store to get some ice-cold beers and delectable dessert wines between weekend trips to the beach and BBQs at friends’ houses.
More than ever, drinkers want diversity. Who knows how many customers will buy that extra beer if you highlight the local, seasonal brews, offer growlers, and let them design their own six-pack. To increase customer traffic and boost sales, many quick-serve restaurants have expanded their beverage offerings to include artisan beers and a wine selection.
Get Started with These C-Store Promo Ideas
Use these marketing ideas to build an effective strategy that meets the needs of your consumers and surpasses those of your competitors. At the end of the day, knowledge about current industry trends is invaluable when it comes to running a successful convenience store business.
Are you eager to unlock the boundless potential of FasTrax POS to help with your convenience store marketing strategy? Contact us today and schedule a consultation to witness a demo of its remarkable capabilities. Discover the game-changing features that can elevate your business to unimaginable heights.