Taking advantage of foot traffic can help your C-store.
Taking advantage of foot traffic can help your C-store.

C-store success comes from a multitude of places all working together, but sometimes tweaking one area can improve overall performance. That’s the mindset some owners have when choosing location. Getting people in the door who weren’t originally planning to spend money with you means improved metrics and better sales. But with online shopping increasingly prevalent, shopping in-person is on the decline. In fact, according to PwC’s Annual Global Total Retail Consumer Survey, store visits have dropped year after year. Despite that, you can take steps to improve foot traffic.

The right location
Once you get people in the door, encouraging them to grab a snack or beverage on the way out is easy, but that first bit is the most challenging. Attracting foot traffic is easier for gas stations than standalone C-stores, as fuel stops are necessary for all drivers. However, choosing the right location can make a difference.

According to CSP Daily News, some C-stores are getting savvy about where they open their storefronts. Locations like condominium lobbies are becoming more desirable for obvious reasons: Residents are guaranteed foot traffic, fueled by late-night hunger or last-minute needs. Transportation centers, especially for trains that allow passengers to drink alcohol, are also lucrative – customers can pick up a drink or snack on the way home from work.

Encourage people to enter
Not all C-stores have the luxury of getting that perfect location – the best spots are in high demand, after all. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean getting people inside will be impossible. Whether you want customers to make the leap from gas-only purchase to in-store ones as well, or you’re looking to grab foot traffic, you can take a few steps to improve your business.

Utilize loyalty programs
If your C-store already has a loyalty or rewards program, you can optimize it to encourage customers to come inside. For instance, earning enough points from gas purchases could get them a free or discounted cup of coffee. When they enter the store to claim that prize, they’ll be more likely to add a snack that goes with it. If you don’t have a rewards program, keep in-store sales in mind when designing one.

Harness brand power
Big brand names are bound to attract customers, especially those with loyal followings. For instance, brands like Pepsi and Coca-Cola each have their own fans who rarely stray from purchasing their products. Make the most of this dedication by speaking with company reps and requesting assets to use in your store. If you sell Coke, for example, hang promotional window signs featuring the latest Coke beverage.

Take to social media
Social-media marketing is increasingly popular, as it allows businesses to reach customers where they are. Develop a following online and regularly share content that entices people to visit your C-store. Images and videos of snacks and drinks are particularly effective, as they can inspire cravings. Additionally, social-media contests and discounts further give people a nudge to your door.