Author: Joseph Boyd

How do I get my product next to a Register in a Convenience Store

Placing your products close to the register in a convenience store is an excellent strategy to get more sales. Goods close to the register are easily noticed by shoppers as soon as they walk in. What’s better, these goods are right there at the counter when customers make payment.

Usually, this marketing strategy works best for impulsive goods. That means products that captivate the shopper right on the spot without any previous contact. This is an obvious way to increase store profits.

This is also a remarkable way to introduce customers to new products. This technique is used to boost store sales, promote new arrivals, and improve customer loyalty to a brand.

However, no matter how good a marketing strategy is, there are some commodities it cannot help. We’ll, therefore, look at the recommended types of goods to employ this method for.

Everyday Products: Everyday products refer to essential goods used in our daily lives. As such, shoppers look at them whenever they come for a purchase. When such goods are displayed in a more visible section like the register, they are sure to make more sales. Remember that the key to the success of this system is the ability of the products to trigger impulsive purchases.

Impulsive sales are unplanned sales, made for a couple of reasons that range from the sudden fascination with a product or the realization that it is needed. However, as previously mentioned, these products must be handy and necessary household items. These include things like toiletries, toothpaste, newspapers, cosmetics, and general body care items.

Products with Contrasting Designs: Products that contrast with the shelves represent an excellent way to steal customer’s attention. If the shelves are dark-colored, items that have bright colored packaging are sure to grab the customer’s attention instantly.

Also, some brands are popular with customers. Customers do not deliberate much before buying their products. They are automatically compelled to buy them just by sighting the brand name since these are items that they will eventually need. Such products can be placed close to the register.

Another way to achieve these register line sales is to include self-explanatory products.

Products positioned on the shelves at the counter are sure to generate more spontaneous sales due to the value they offer, brand or packaging.

So, as you effect this particular marketing strategy, expect to see customers add to their shopping carts as they wait in line to make payments.

How to Stand Out on a Checkout Counter

One of the most coveted spots in a store is the checkout counter. Consumers waiting on the checkout line are known to buy most products on this counter. Getting that spot for your product may be difficult, but standing out amidst the sea of products seeking the attention of the customer is a big deal. How can your product stand out on a checkout counter?

 

Before answering this question, you must know why your product needs to stand out on the checkout counter.

Why your product needs to stand out on the checkout counter

1.   Your visibility is increased.

The position of the checkout counter makes it a compulsory destination for customers of a store. The product on the checkout will surely be seen by the customers. When there is a long line, customers are forced to wait, and they may interact with your product. Thus, familiarity builds up with the brand, and this results in increased brand awareness.

2.   Your chances of customer engagement increases

The goods at the checkout counter and other strategic areas have more opportunities for customer engagement than other ones. This is because the customer is compelled to spend more time at those spots.

 

Also, interaction with the store employees concerning the products on the checkout counter is a common experience. The employee would be able to provide more information about the products and thereby increase the chances of purchase.

3.   Your chances of purchase increases.

Goods placed at the checkout counter have the probability of being purchased impulsively than products in other parts of the store. This has been explained to be caused by decision fatigue. A situation where the customer gives in to the urge to buy toward the end of his buying trip because he’s tired to resist. The chances of your product being purchased at the checkout counter increase if it calls the customer’s attention.

How to stand out at the checkout counter

1.   Make your product attractive

Appearance is a strong determinant of the success of your product on the checkout counter. Make your packaging material worth the bucks. Other products on the shelf would also be competing for the attention of the customer. To give yourself an edge, craft a distinctive identity, and enticing packaging for your product.

2.   Make your product self-explanatory

The enticing appearance calls the attention of the customer. Still, to keep that customer engaged, your product has to be self-explanatory. It has to contain the necessary information that would convince customers to make the purchase.

3.   Make your affordable

Most products on the checkout counter are low-priced and, thus, can easily be added to the pack of purchases. You give yourself a chance to get more sales if your product is affordable.

 

Having your product displayed on the checkout counter is not enough to make maximum sales. Your product should be of the best quality, and you have to make your product attractive and affordable for you to increase your chances of recording high sales.

How Retail is Changing and C-Stores too

Retail is evolving and witnessing rapid changes on a larger scale in recent times. These changes in the way retail operations are carried out are primarily due to changing consumer behavior and technological advances.

 

Digital technologies are now heavily utilized to satisfy consumers’ demands and improve their experience. Convenience stores are not left out of these massive changes in the system of retail operations. They are one primary retail channel that is undergoing significant changes in recent times.

Online or Offline Shopping?

Gone are the days when retail operations were carried out solely in brick-and-mortar facilities. A large chunk of the revenue generated in the retail industry is now garnered from digital platforms. Manufacturers and retail companies are providing direct access for consumers to their products via online platforms.

 

Gradually, the line between online and offline shopping is blurring. Offers such as self-service, BOPIS (Buy Online, Pick In-Store), and curbside services are innovative ways the retail industry is adapting to the demands of consumers for better, faster, and efficient services.

 

Shoppers are increasingly getting aware of their impact on the environment. This is affecting their choices of what to and what not to buy. They are shifting towards clean and eco-friendly products. Sustainability, amidst many other factors, exerts a strong influence on changing consumer behaviors. Consumers are now opting for products that promise little-or-no environmental impact.

 

Brick-and-Mortar Success

Convenience stores, on the other hand, are brick-and-mortar retail outlets that have been booming in recent times. More than 150,000 convenience stores are reported to be in full-scale operations in the United States, and an estimated 165 million Americans visit these stores daily.

 

The convenience retail industry is also not left out in the disruptive changes overtaking the entire retail sector. It is also undergoing a radical transformation from being just a retail store for emergency items and convenience goods to become outlets that provide convenience and quality services as their customers want it.

 

The growth of convenience stores is deeply ingrained in the provision of what people want. This is evident in the stock goods found in convenience stores. Fresh foods, cold brew coffee, and beverages, a variety of quick-grab products are items found in convenience stores.

 

The stiff competitive environment created by retail disruptors like Amazon and upstart convenience retailers like Foxtrot and Alltown Fresh is causing convenience retail giants to resort to newer ways to do business. This is causing a reinvention of convenience retail as we know it to what it is becoming today.

 

From the store layout to the operational systems and consumer offerings, convenience stores are being remodeled to offer premium quality, faster and efficient services to their increasing diversity of customers. Thriving convenience store retailers are improving customer experiences and making everything even more convenient.

 

As consumer behaviors continue to change and evolve rapidly, the convenience retail industry must continue to take advantage of the opportunities to grow and create innovative solutions to the pressing demand of consumers for more value, convenience, and premium quality services.

Read this before sending your product to a distributor

The right distributor is a catalyst for great sales of your products. Through distributors, your product’s market potential can be fully explored. However, you must ensure that your product is prepared for success as distribution is not the only determinant of market success. Product viability and acceptability are vital factors that influence the success of a product in the marketplace.

 

Before you send your product to a distributor, ask yourself the following questions and give honest answers. These answers would help you identify critical things you might have left out in your preparation.

Is your product ready for the market?

This is not to discourage you but to affirm the readiness of your product for the market. Your product must be fully developed and functional before you send it to the market. Make sure you conduct necessary tests and checks to ascertain the product suitability for the market.

 

Only approach a distributor when you have perfected your product’s packaging and know what its price points would be. It is also essential that you know how you would supply your products if demand skyrockets.

What is your marketing strategy?

Have a concrete plan for marketing your product. The distributor’s job is to get your product to the appropriate markets and not to publicize or advertise for you. The distributor’s role cannot be substituted for a marketing plan. The distributor supports your marketing plan. Develop a complete marketing plan to help your distribution.

Have you identified your target market?

Your target market is a specific demographic that needs your product. They are people you made the product for. Your relationship with a distributor will be successful if you can provide him with information about your specific target market. You will be sure of the distributor’s ability to meet your expectations.

How well do you understand your distributor?

You will be working with your distributor directly to sell your product. Prepare for that. Seek information on how the distributor operates, what kind of products he deals in.

 

Also, seek references. Ask for testimonials and referrals from other stakeholders. You can also ask retailers for references and recommendations based on your target demographic.

Who is your competition?

You will be doing yourself a great favor if you try to understand what the market competition for your product is like. Study your competition and follow the distribution channels and distributors that represent their products. You would be able to develop strategies to ensure the sales of your product. Also, you find the distributors that already have success in selling products to your target audience.

 

You stand the risk of your product not attaining it’s full market potential if your preparation isn’t adequate. You need a winning pitch to convince a distributor to sell your products. Thorough preparations and product evaluation would give you that.

How do I get my products into Convenience Stores

The convenience retail industry is a huge market with limitless possibilities. Recent reports by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) reveal that more than 160 million Americans visit convenience stores daily. This means manufacturers and vendors of convenience goods have a platform for great sales. To benefit from these opportunities, there is a need for cost-effective strategies that would get their products on the shelves of convenience stores. The most suitable option is selling products through convenience store distributors.

 

Convenience stores depend on convenience store distributors and wholesale distributors to supply the products they sell to their customers. These distributors act as links between the manufacturers and the convenience stores.

 

For the retailers, the distributors ease the burden of dealing with many manufacturers for different products and give them access to a wide range of products with just a single deal. For manufacturers like you, distributors provide you with access to a network of retailers. You only need to negotiate with a sole distributor to get your products into scores of convenience stores.

How to find a convenience store distributor

But, how do you get a product to these convenience store distributors? You can call them, email them, and set-up a meeting to discuss your business deals. However, getting this contact information is a big deal.

 

Distributor Directories are your first-choice of sources for this information. There are many online sources for these directories, and some include MrCheckOut and WholesaleGrocers.  A quick tip to note is that some of these directories cannot be accessed for free.

 

Google can also be a great source of information. This process, however, requires finesse with keywords and search queries. Your search keywords should include your product niche and location so you can obtain the best result. You may use this format: ‘beverage distributors in Florida,’ ‘natural beverage distributors in Florida.’

 

The top results are often distributors that make supplies of those products. Get their contact details and contact them to know their business terms and conditions.

Pitching your Product

After locating a convenience store distributor, you need to convince them that your product is worth the bucks. Prepare a solid strategy that would persuade distributors that your product is worth selling to customers. For you to make a convincing pitch, your products must be in agreement with the logic of business, which is convenience.

 

A tip on how you can make a convincing and winning pitch is to find a way to show that there is a demand for your product. You can use data from retailers and marketplaces that demonstrates the need for your product.

 

Convenience stores are transforming from the old and dusty roadside stores to new and big outlets for everyday consumer goods with great sales possibilities. Your access to this goldmine is dependent on the right relationships with convenience store distributors.

How Convenience Stores are Changing

The idea of a convenience store is for it to be a destination for fast and convenient shopping. Over the years, the concept remains the same, but the methods of making it happen are changing rapidly. The convenience retail industry isn’t what it used to be in the nineties and even the last few decades.

 

It has transformed from those roadside and dusty old stores where our grannies stop by for treats occasionally when fueling their cars, to well-structured and attractive stores with the convenience offered at the best quality available.

 

The National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) reported the industry had recorded sixteen years of consistent growth in its revenue.

 

Improving customer experience and offering customer-centric services are the reasons for this growth, despite the highly competitive landscape of the retail industry.

Choice and Variety

Convenience stores now offer a variety of products for their customers to choose from. Fresh foods, specialty beverages such as cold brew coffee, and a range of grab-and-go products are becoming prominent features of convenience stores.

 

Consumers are more concerned about their health now more than ever. Their changing buying habits reflect this. Convenience stores are responding to that by providing natural food products, organics, better-for-you foods, and fresh food products.

 

7Eleven’ Lab Store is a typical response to these changes. New brands such as Alltown Fresh, The Goods Mart, Foxtrot, Green Zebra, and Choice Market are disruptors in the industry, and their offerings make it difficult to distinguish them from grocery stores and restaurants. But they claim they are still convenience stores but better versions.

Speed and Personalised Experience

A characteristic feature of convenience stores is a quick and efficient service. Modern convenience stores are evolving to take that trait to the next level. Automation and effortless checkout are being explored to provide more convenience to their customers.

 

The convenience retail is not left behind in adapting the vast technological advances available. The world’s largest convenience store chain, 7Eleven, is testing a cashier-less store and drone delivery systems to improve customer experience in their stores.

 

Goods delivery and orders have already been taken to the next level with the availability of self-service, BOPIS (Buy Online, Pick In-Store), and home delivery services.

 

Store Design and Layout

Modern convenience stores are now designed in ways that reflect significant changes. Upscale buildings with soft lighting and attractive arrangements are standard features of current convenience stores. These stores are designed to improve customer experience by ensuring safety and cleanliness. Store spaces are well optimized to provide comfort and ease of shopping.

 

More changes and disruptions are bound to happen in the convenience retail industry. What these changes will be and how fast they will happen may not be quantifiable at the moment. But as long consumer behaviors keep changing, the possibilities that can be explored in the management and operations of convenience stores will continue to multiply.

What Are Some C Store Trends

Visiting the local supermarket downtown daily to acquire necessary household items can be tiring. Apart from how boring the routine can be, time used may not be worth it. As a result, people need nearby alternatives where they can purchase these items. Well, C stores to the rescue!

C stores are small retail stores that are located close to living areas. They stock a large variety of everyday items like coffee, confectionaries, snacks, drugs, toiletries, newspapers, and magazines. They can be referred to as convenience or corner stores.

Store trends, meanwhile, are shopping actions that are popular and relevant at a particular time. These are typically beneficial to customers as they offer reasonable ease of doing business as well as discounts when necessary. Trends are generally driven by market demand. Following the appropriate trends can take a C store to the profit margin they have been projecting to hit in a short time.

Some key trends to watch out for in C stores are:

Rendering of Delivery Services: The primary edge C stores have over bigger marts is the proximity to customers, hence allowing them to shop conveniently whenever they choose to. Before now, the usual practice was for shoppers to come to the stores to make purchases, but that’s changing.

There is an increased focus on the way businesses conduct transactions with clients and customers. With the increase in information technology and delivery service, the inclusion of delivery service in modern enterprises has come to stay. Adopting this business strategy gives the c-store a further edge. The inability to do this will jeopardize such a store.

Sustainability: Some of the most popular items these days are products that are good for the customers—and the earth. Customers are now more conscious of how their lifestyle impacts the planet. As such, a convenience store that displays sustainable products as its most preferred choice of goods will prove to consumers that it is not just about the profits. This can help drive traffic and sales.

Socking Healthy Food: There is also an increasing consciousness about healthy feeding. Most people now want to eat healthier stocks, as well as foods that are more organic and fresher. While healthier food items might be slightly more expensive, a lot of people are nevertheless swapping their unhealthy diet and snacks for healthy food options.

To conclude, merchandising will very rarely remain at a point for long. Nearly every month, new shopping trends emerge. It is, however, critical to observe to recognize the reasonable patterns to adopt, else you’ll be running down your business faster than you think.

What to ask your Convenience Store Distributor

Convenience store distributors are saddled with the responsibility of connecting the manufacturers to convenience stores. They buy products from the manufacturers and sell them to the retailers, who sell the goods to the consumer. They play pivotal roles in ensuring the sale and optimal market performance of a product.

 

A good relationship with your convenience store distributor is crucial to the achievement of your aims as a product manufacturer. Investing in the development of a good relationship with your distributor starts with asking the right questions.

 

The manufacturer-distributor relationship is supposed to be a partnership, but more often than not, that is not the case. This is caused by a lack of alignment of the expectations and interests of both parties. The strains and tensions in the relationship have negative consequences for both parties, and the manufacturers stand to bear the most loss. Therefore, as a manufacturer, you should find ways to ensure that you are always on the same page with your convenience store distributor.

 

A good relationship can turn sour with a lack of proper communication. Asking the right questions would result in obtaining the correct information, and this will ensure the sustenance of a good relationship.

 

Here are three things you should ask from your convenience store distributor.

1.   Ask for feedback on your product

As a manufacturer, you need constant feedback on how your products are performing in the market. Convenience store distributors are excellent sources of that kind of data. They can provide you with data on demand for your products by retailers, and this will give you an insight into how consumers are demanding your products.

 

However, the release of this information by your distributor is subject to the kind of communication you instituted at the beginning of your relationship.

2.   Ask for Market insights and advice

Although this may come at a price, convenience store distributors can offer market consultancy and provide insights for their producer-client.

 

Their insights can guide the manufacturers in their product development process and help them spot a new demand in the market that can lead to a new product. Their advice will also help you as a manufacturer to improve your services and product offerings.

 

3.   Ask for the distributor’s expectations of you

After relating your expectations of the distributor to him, it is necessary you also ask for his expectations of you. This should not only be in terms of funds but also information, support, and technical assistance. Make sure you meet your convenience store distributor’s realistic expectations. This will earn you credibility and trust with the distributor.

 

Both parties stand to benefit from the limitless opportunities an excellent distributor-manufacturer relationship can create. For distributors, this means more product to sell and, therefore, more profit.

 

As a manufacturer, investing in a good relationship with your convenience store distributor opens you up to vast opportunities for maximum sales in the fast-growing convenience retail industry. But this starts with maintaining a healthy relationship and asking the right questions.

How to be a Convenience Store Distributor

Convenience store distributors are the links between the manufacturers and the convenience stores. They are the lifeblood of the convenience retail industry. Their job description may sound simple, but their importance cannot be overstated. Becoming a convenience store distributor is a good decision, but without the right information, it may amount to wasted efforts.

 

Below is a four-step guide on how to be a convenience store distributor in the United States.

1.   Understand the dynamics of the industry

The convenience store distributor has two primary functions: to buy from the manufacturers and sell to the retailers. It is as simple as that on paper, but there is more to it. The distributor acts as a middleman between the manufacturers and the retailer. He buys existing product lines from the manufacturer or new products, which he would help introduce to the end-user by selling to the retailer.

 

A proper understanding of how the business is managed would help you to navigate the processes and procedures of the company. To understand the dynamics of the industry, you need to study market trends, carry out market research, and also,  acquire relevant experience in the industry.

2.   Draft your business plan

Distributorship is a business like every other one. Therefore, a business plan is required. You will need to outline a distribution strategy, a financial plan, and a strategy for how you intend to market the products you sell.

 

Your distribution strategy depends on what specialization you decide to delve into. It is advised to start by distributing a few products. This will help you establish a good foundation for the business.

 

Distribution requires a robust financial plan. You will need warehouse space, transport facilities, and inventory equipment. Your financial plan contains how you will ensure that your business activities: buying, selling, and spending are done profitably.

3.   Proper licenses and permits

Apply for the necessary licenses and permits from the constituted authorities of the business. The Federal and State government require distributors to have permission to operate in their territory.

4.   Get started.

After you have equipped yourself with everything necessary, you need to start. Till you start doing the business, you can not be called a distributor. Make contacts with convenience stores and offer to sell to them. Also, contact manufacturers and buy their products. Establish connections with both ends of the chain.

 

To be a successful convenience store distributor, you have to own some skills. These required skills include excellent communication and negotiation skills, organization skills, and financial skills. A distributor would deal with a lot of buying, selling, discounts, credits, and inventories. Without a basic knowledge of accounting and finance, it might be challenging to manage the enterprise. Negotiation and communication skills are a must. They are essential to the effective management of business relationships.

 

In a nutshell, becoming a convenience store distributor goes beyond buying and selling. It requires that you understand the intricacies and the economics of distribution before you become one.

How to get Convenience Store Distributors

Convenience store distributors are your ticket to getting your products on the racks and shelves of convenience stores. Searching for convenience store distributors requires that you have the right information about them.

 

There are many ways to get a convenience store distributor. One way is via an internet search. By using search engines, we can obtain relevant information about convenience store distributors. These searches require the use of the right search queries and keywords. Keywords from your product niche would help refine the search for better and specific results.

 

Another way to get a convenience store distributor is through distributor lists and directories. These lists contain information such as the phone number, email address, and physical address of the distributors. Stakeholders of the industry publish the lists. The access to these directories is usually granted after a specified payment.

 

There are online directories and offline ones. Offline lists are paperback directories that can be accessed in local offices, book stores, and libraries. On the other hand, a simple online search would give access to the online versions of these lists.

 

Online directories are credible sources for convenience store distributors because these lists are often updated. It is not the same for offline directories. They do not always contain up-to-date information about the distributors listed. And also, the list of distributors provided may be restricted to a specific region.

 

Asking the managers of convenience stores in your locality is another way you can get information to access convenience store distributors. This would help you identify convenience store distributors within your immediate reach.  Attending trade shows present opportunities to meet distributors personally.

 

Your search for convenience store distributors should be based on your specific needs, what kind of market reach you want, and your product goals. Because there are different types of convenience store distributors, and they operate in various manners. Full-service distributors sell different products to convenience stores, while specialized distributors only sell specific products.

 

If your product has a lot of identical products already in the market, it might be challenging to convince a full-service distributor to sell your product because they deal with a limited number of brands, 2 – 3 brands for each kind of product they sell. Your best shot might be with a product-specific distributor.

 

The hard part of getting a convenience store distributor for your product is pitching your product. You need to convince the distributor that your product is essential to his customers. You also have to prove to him that your product has a viable market performance.

 

One of the best decisions you would ever make for your products is getting the right convenience store distributor. Before you choose a convenience store distributor, make sure that your interests are aligned. You can only obtain the desired results if you have a mutual and beneficial relationship with your distributor.