From a customer perspective, convenience stores all pretty much offer the same thing—convenience. Because of this, many consumers will simply go to the store that is closest to wherever they happen to be at the time of their need. By differentiating yourself from other convenience stores, you can gain a following through word-of-mouth advertising. Here are some tips to help you gain consumer loyalty and build repeat customers.
Build a Brand – Consider creating a loyalty rewards program of some sort that offers a discount or something free when a customer returns to buy a promoted item. This could be a simple punch card for almost any item in your store that customers might buy frequently. For example, if you sell fountain drinks, you may want to offer a “Buy Five, Get the Sixth One Free” deal. You might also want to think about a “Customer of the Month” promotion that is associated with the number of punch cards redeemed. Be sure to post your customer of the month on your social media sites. They’ll share the post with their friends and you’ll gain a new following.
Reviews – Post a sign on your door requesting that customers review your store on social media sites such as Yelp, Google, or Facebook. Make sure your employees are ready to provide exceptional customer service to ensure the reviews are favorable. You may even want to sponsor an Instagram promotion where customers take selfies of themselves in front of your store. You could select one person at random each month to receive a prize (like a free t-shirt — something that advertises your business even more). This will not only promote customer loyalty, it’ll help improve your rankings on search engine platforms like Google.
Advertise Locally – The post office has a service called Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM), that can target neighborhoods around your store with postcards or mailers. Let your neighbors know you’re there and promote a special of some sort to bring them in.
Atlantic Dominion can help you provide the best selection and pricing by offering the widest selection of food and beverage distribution for a convenience store in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, to make your promotional efforts a great success.