5 C-store Essentials to Long-Term Success
Some individuals may think it easier to stay with the status quo than change. However, what if your forecourt is losing money and customers – doesn’t it make sense to make some changes? Gilbarco Veeder-Root has been in the fueling industry for over 20 years and understands the need for resources to aid in your business’s potential for growth and revenue. That is why these 5 tips have been developed to help prepare and prevent.
Increase security: The liability shift will be a big financial risk if your forecourt is not EMV-compliant. Being EMV-certified and having the technology to accept EMV payments will not only protect your c-store from chargeback bills down the road but will also protect your customers from fraud NOW.
Retailers have already negatively experienced the chargeback burn for in the store. For example, one retailer had to pay $4,000 in counterfeit chargeback costs due to one woman who found the counterfeit card worked (Convenience Store News).
Though the liability shift for the forecourt has yet to come, it is always a good tactic in any business to start early and increase security. This element of protection will encourage customers to buy from your business. If interested in your EMV options, Gilbarco Veeder-Root has plenty of payment options and solutions for your c-store.
Get ALL of the data: Making the right decision for your business is a daily task. That is why it is important to get all the facts and figures so that your c-store can optimize sales and save money from costly and inefficient actions. Consider technology that will accumulate the needed data so that you can improve the weakest process and in turn, maximize profits.
By understanding the big picture, you will make better decisions as an owner and drive your brand to be more successful. For example, through Gilbarco’s Insite360 Passport, you can monitor, configure and control your point of sale through an easy-to-use, cloud-based dashboard. Additionally, Insite360 Passport will allow you to do this anywhere at any time – saving you constant trips to your business and helping you manage your store efficiently to save unnecessary costs.
Aging Dispenser?: Really examine your dispenser. How old is it? Because the forecourt makes up 75% of your annual sales dollars, it is important to ensure your fueling dispensers are reliable, manageable and cost-effective. Review your dispenser’s wet-stock management, meter performance and serviceability to analyze the years left in that dispenser. Knowing the total cost of ownership is important in making a capital purchase but even more so in not making an investment.
By not considering updating your equipment, you leave your forecourt vulnerable to many harmful factors: chargebacks, slow throughput, downtime and more. Additionally, updating to more reliable equipment and even cutting-edge technology will not only increase your ROI, but will also boost your brand.
Increase loyalty: By not constantly looking for ways to connect with customers, your business is missing a great opportunity to build your loyalty base. Loyal customers bring in steady profits versus those that just stop by occasionally. According to Hubspot, it costs a business about 5-10 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to sell to an existing one. Customers love being entertained, engaged and connected with businesses. Therefore, your brand must offer elements that stand out from the rest of the c-stores in your area.
The c-store trend is changing from a site of “desperation and needs” to a “destination.” Many c-stores have already integrated this concept of being more than a pit stop. By implementing a food service option, you change your c-store of “just snacks” to a possible dining option. By placing a sitting area, locals and travelers can gather and relax. Through loyalty programs, you are encouraging the customer to choose your c-store over the others. Media at the pump will entertain and inform customers while fueling their vehicles. Tap-and-go payments provide a sense of control, choice and security.
Doing any of these adjustments to your business will increase loyalty and strengthen customer relationships. If interested in building your loyalty base, consider Gilbarco’s loyalty solutions: media at the pump technology, food service equipment and other payment options.
Catch the upselling moments: How do you upsell to customers that do not come inside the store? How do you advertise without pushing products? What are the best ways to engage and consistently nurture loyal customers?
The answer is simple - great customer service.
By offering great customer experiences, your customers will prefer your c-store. Whether it is offering entertainment at the pump, providing easy and safe payment options or incorporating technology that enables loyalty programs, you are essentially inviting customers to revisit your store. If interested in other upselling solutions, click here.