by: Kimberly Otocki
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One of the greatest challenges of convenience store marketing is to drive guests into the store when they stop at the pump to fuel up, drawing additional revenue from a customer’s visit. Increased revenue and profit margins, for the most part, are driven by visits to the store, not at the pump. A strong marketing effort will bring an average of 35 per cent of those customers into the store when they gas up.
There are many ways to increase store traffic, from implementing a loyalty program to simple promotions for discounted fuel and in-store products. Loyalty is also the key to repeat visits – as guests establish a connection to your brand. Once a guest is registered as a loyalty program member, marketing can begin to gather data to better understand, engage and create a personalized, ongoing relationship.
What are some of the ways you can increase your store visits in the short and long-term? Here are five ways that you can attract new visitors and generate more loyalty from your customers.
1. Target millennials. Millennials in 2018 will have a global net income of 3.4 trillion dollars, making them the generation with the highest purchasing power. What can you do to get this generation into your stores? Millennials look for three main things from your brand; simplicity, a personal touch, and convenience. Connect with millennials on a one-to-one basis to ensure your promotions are relevant to the individual. To attain the customer level data needed for relevant, one-to-one offers, start by offering a loyalty program with a clear value proposition that is easy to for your cashiers to convey.
2. Run promotions at the pump. Simple promotions that are tied to products in the store such as “buy x amount of product, get x cents off per gallon” are effective at motivating fuel-only customers to step inside the box. In fact, according to a report from Coca-Cola published in CSP Daily News, 73 per cent of customers say that the best promotions are the ones that have discounted fuel with in-store purchases.
3. Go mobile. The same study by Coca-Cola found that millennials check their phone 157 times per day. There is a large opportunity to reach millennial customers on the device that they are on all the time. Optimizing for mobile messages, such as email, in-app messages, or using geofencing is key to reaching these customers. Brands implement geofenced messages see 30 to 40 per cent of the customers who receive that message come into the store to take advantage of the offer within 24 hours, according to Paytronix data. Mobile messages provide an almost immediate lift to your store visits and sales.
4. Promote food service. Food service is becoming a big part of convenience stores today with prepared and made to order food being a major draw in for customers. Offering limited-time promotions tied to food items can boost visits, especially among millennials. The Coca-Cola study noted that about half of all millennials say that they are on the lookout for limited time offers.
5. Segment and target. To create a bond between the brand and its customers and maximize the impact marketers have on revenue creation, market segmentation is essential. Within any customer base, there are segments of people with shared interests and motivational factors. When marketers develop insights into their customer base that reveal common motivators, the result is a powerful, profitable marketing strategy. By identifying your market segments, marketing messages, offers, and message cadence can be tailored to each segment based on their common needs and behavioral patterns. The result is greater audience reach, more revenue, and higher profitability.
These five tactics to increase traffic will have a significant impact upon your short and long term store visits. Test them out and see which work best in your own competitive market.
A strong marketing effort will bring an average of
of those customers into the store when they gas up.