When you learn the buying behaviors of your convenience store customers, you can easily earn more revenue and increase customer satisfaction.
According to the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), knowing your customers’ pump fueling habits by age group, along with meals and food they are likely to buy, helps you customize c-store food service and special promotions for each age group*.
Learn the Ins and Outs of Your Customer Types with These Expert Tips:
- Ages 18 – 34: More Than Half of these Customers Purchase Fuel from 3 pm to Midnight.
Entice customers into your c-store by posting your promotions on print or digital signs or billboard displays at your pumps advertising great snack options, grab-and-go fruit, takeout lunch or dinner, and made-to-order (MTO) meal deals. You can also post colorful, attention-grabbing promotional signs in your c-store windows that customers can’t miss.
- Ages 35 – 49: These Customers Most Commonly Buy Fuel in the Morning from 6 am to 10 am. Consider expanding your breakfast offerings and promoting foods these customers are more likely to buy on their way to work, like a box of donuts for their office team. Post promotional signs at your pumps and in your c-store windows for special discounts and BOGOs.
- Ages 18 – 49: These Customers Will Fuel Up and Buy a Beverage. Promote deals for meal bundles that include a beverage and a meal, or a beverage and a snack, or a beverage with a baked good. Get creative with your promos, as there are numerous opportunities to combine items for special deals to reach this customer group.
- Age 50 and Up: These Customers are Most Likely to Fuel Up Outside of Rush Hours, from 10 am to 3 pm. That means you’ll need to offer both breakfast and lunch meal deals to this group, including promos for coffee with a meal, or BOGO meal deals. Advertise your specials and promos using signs at your pumps or in your c-store windows.
Don’t overlook: Many customers who are 50 or over will enter your convenience store to use the restroom or the ATM, to buy lottery tickets, tobacco products, or over-the-counter (OTC) medications. Tip: Post promo signs in your restrooms or near the ATM and lottery counter for snack items, meal deals, BOGOs, or OTC medications to encourage these customers to make unplanned purchases.
Key: If you have enough space either indoors or out to include a seating area, many customers in this group will enjoy it. Tip: Make your customer seating area inviting by offering comfortable chairs, tables large enough to hold food items and drinks, and seating that is away from high traffic areas. Customers don’t want to feel like they are eating in the middle of a crowd or are in someone else’s way. Be sure to regularly keep your eating area clean, adhering to safety protocols.
Bottom line: Offer a variety of promos and products to appeal to customers of different age groups who will visit your c-store. Ensure your promo signs are engaging and capture customers’ attention. Be sure to keep promo signs updated, and swap out signs for promos you no longer offer with new promo signs.
Don’t miss: Regardless of your customers’ ages, a combined 63% of them will continue to shop at your convenience store if they live close by and if you don’t have long waiting lines, according to a 2018 NACS survey:
And 3 out of 10 customers view not having to wait in line as the most critical factor for convenience. So, make sure you can service customers quickly, or all your hard work to offer special deals to different customer types will be wasted.
Smart idea: A big factor in ensuring quick service is to always have enough c-store POS terminals available to minimize customer wait times. With Petrosoft’s convenience store POS solution, your employees can serve your customers quickly and efficiently. Ask for a SmartPOS demo today!
Bonus: About 50 percent of frequent convenience store shoppers say they would like to order drinks, food, and groceries online or with a food service management app to pickup their orders at the c-store**. If you do not currently offer online ordering or curbside pickup, you could be losing thousands in potential revenue. Learn more about QwickServe® Curbside Pickup today!
*NACS consumer survey, January 2018
**NACS consumer survey, Sept. 2018
Source: NACS White Paper: Time to Shop