Retail Site Operations

4 Ways to Differentiate Your C-Store From the Competition  

Let’s face it, competition is everywhere and comes in all shapes and sizes. Gone are the days of competing against similar retail types. You’re now in competition with everyone selling goods. From brick-and-mortar to online players; every retailer is out for your customers’ share of wallet. So how do you win in this space? Continue reading for a refresher on 4 ways to differentiate your C-Store from the competition.  

1. Customer service – Customer service is a vague term and can mean different things to different people. If your C-Store is focused on customer service, ensure that you have a detailed description of what that means. Do you want employees to greet customers as they enter your C-Store? Do you want employees to walk your floors and offer assistance to customers as they shop? Maybe you expect employees to offer umbrellas to customers as they walk to their vehicles in the rain. Regardless of your expectations, ensure they are mapped out so all employees understand what is expected of them. The professionals at Strasburger Retail can help develop this roadmap to ensure all of your employees are aiming for what you deem is excellent customer service.   

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2. Ease of shopability – Some stores are easier to shop than others. If you want to ensure your facility is known as easy to shop, consider avoiding clutter. While floor displays help create additional points of interruption in the customer’s shopping experience, they can also create clutter if you’re tight on space. If you believe you have an opportunity with floor displays, try to keep them to 1’ x 1’ in floor space and aim to sell through them in 1-2 weeks. Additionally, spacing shelves too closely on your fixtures can create the appearance of clutter and make the set more difficult to shop. Ensure that you have ample space for customers to reach onto the shelf to pull out the product.  

3. Pricing structure – Are you in a highly price-sensitive market? Do you have consumers cherry pick your deals? High/low operators reap stronger margins on everyday items in order to potentially margin compress on promoted items. This strategy allows customers to reap the benefits of promoted goods. In contract, an EDLP retailer (Everyday Low Price) will strive to offer the best prices everyday with limited, if any, promotional activity. Which camp does your C-Store fall into? It’s important to have a clear strategy when it comes to pricing. Let the professionals at Strasburger Retail help you define your pricing strategy.  

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4. Innovative services/products – Do you have an app that allows customers to track their purchase history or even execute a purchase at your facility? Cumberland Farms does. With their app, customers also earn $0.10 off every gallon of fuel if they choose to tie their checking account to the app. Not only does this offer the consumer a value, but it also offers a wealth of data for the retailer on their consumers’ purchase behavior. Consider what innovative solutions or products you could offer your consumers to differentiate your C-Store from the rest.  

For 35 years Strasburger Retail has represented the best of the convenience industry’s entrepreneurial spirit and drive for innovation – providing turnkey small format retail site contract operations, staffing services, accounting services and retail consulting to companies large and small. 

Contact us to learn how Strasburger Retail can help you take advantage of these ways to build your retail sales and profits.