If you frequent a 7-11 or other convenience stores, then you may be asking yourself if the brand is a good investment. While the grocery store industry has declined over the past year, the convenience store market has seen a boom in sales. Why? People are looking for quick, easy, and inexpensive ways to get what they need. With the right marketing and strategy, a convenience store can become a profitable venture.
The Growth Of Convenience Stores
Convenience stores saw sales rise by 10% in 2019, according to the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s). This was largely thanks to Amazon, which entered the convenience store market with its own brand of stores named Amazon Go.
Many traditional grocers and supermarkets have also entered the field, investing in expensive equipment and hiring employees to work the registers. But due to the pandemic, these stores have been forced to close their doors, leaving consumers with fewer options.
The Potential For Profit
Though the grocery industry has shrunk, the convenience store market has seen a surge in business. Why? There are several reasons including but not limited to:
- The convenience of getting what you need when you need it
- Increased productivity
- No need to go to a physical grocery store
- More shelf space for products
- Reduced food waste
How To Profit From The Growth Of Convenience Stores
Due to the increasing demand and business opportunities in the convenience store market, entrepreneurs may now see the opportunity to enter the field and become something more than a solo operator. To start up a successful convenience store, you need to examine several factors including but not limited to:
- Graphic design
- Marketing strategy
- Overall Business Concept
- Financial analysis
When it comes to a store’s location, it’s important to look at the area you’re in. What’s the population like? Where are people likely to shop, eat, or socialize?
If you’re in a small town, it may not be the right location for a convenience store. People are more likely to go to a grocery store or large chain restaurant if they’re in the area. However, if you’re in a larger city or suburb, then your location is more than acceptable.
When people think of a convenience store, they generally think of either the inside of a grocery store or a gas station. But what is the ambiance like? Are the aisles clean and well-lit? Do the walls have a pleasing color scheme?
If you’ve ever been to a 7-eleven (7-11) store, then you know how bright and upbeat the interior can be. Though the ambiance of a convenience store may vary from one store to the next, it tends to be a fairly upbeat and positive atmosphere.
Additionally, the sound in a convenience store tends to be high-energy and engaging. Whether it’s music playing or children playing outside, the atmosphere is generally positive and inviting.
One way people discover content is through graphic design. If your business card is ugly or the website design is messy, then people may leave the site or company website before they make a purchase. So it’s important to have a polished and professional appearance throughout all areas of your business, including but not limited to:
- Social media posts
- Business cards
When talking about convenience stores, most people think about the countertop sales terminals and the large touchscreens where customers make purchases. But did you know that many convenience stores also offer customers the ability to make purchases online? Sometimes this feature is even available in supermarkets, but it’s likely more convenient for online buyers to browse and make purchases without having to leave the comfort of their home or office. And for stores that do offer this feature, people are more likely to use it.
Additionally, many stores have adapted to mobile commerce, allowing people to make quick and easy purchases from anywhere. Though they may not all offer full e-commerce functionality, the vast majority of shops have some form of mobile app or website so customers can browse products and make purchases from anywhere. With the right marketing strategy and apps, mobile commerce may be the preferred method of shopping for some retailers.
Whether you choose to go this route or not, offering mobile commerce is a must for any convenience store.
No one factor can guarantee a successful business, but a robust marketing strategy can help you overcome many obstacles. With a solid marketing strategy, you can identify the right market and audience, gain brand awareness, and increase sales.
When developing your marketing strategy, you’ll want to target audiences in your geographic area or city. Additionally, you want to find the right blend of digital and traditional marketing to engage your audience. What platforms do you plan to use to reach your audience?
You can use social media to gain brand awareness and engage with your customers. With over 2.7 billion monthly active users, Facebook is the largest social media network and a natural fit for any business. By creating and posting regularly to Facebook, you can engage with your audience, showcase products, and grow your business.
Additionally, Instagram has over 1 billion monthly active users. Though it may not seem like a social media network aimed at consumers, Instagrammers can be engaged with and will benefit your business. Create interesting and captivating content that will keep your audience coming back for more. Keep your feed original and interesting, and you’ll be able to grow your Instagram following and gain more customers.
To sell your products at a convenience store, you’ll need to examine several factors including but not limited to:
- The demand for your product
- Your retail locations
- The quality of your product
- How you’ll sell the product
- Your pricing strategy
- Your promotions
Overall Business Concept
This refers to how you plan to operate your business. Are you going to be a chain of stores or do you plan to operate as a solo shop? Are you planning to grow your business locally or across the country?
Many businesses start off as a single store and grow organically. Though this can be a successful strategy, owning and operating a single store can be difficult. For those looking to enter the field, it may be better to start up a business as a chain.
Chains can be successful as long as all the individual stores are profitable. This requires a well-thought-out pricing strategy and strong leadership to ensure everyone is working toward the same goal and brand standards are being maintained. Additionally, establishing a chain of stores requires a lot of capital, so those looking to enter the field may want to first establish themselves as a solo shop.
Operations include everything from putting food on the shelves to taking it off, ensuring stocks are always there, and providing customer service with a smile. When it comes to operations, you’ll want to pick your staff carefully and train them well. Your employees should be attentive and friendly, able to engage with customers and handle any situation with ease.