The art of displaying products in your convenience store is called merchandising, and it’s critical to your sales.
The most important thing is to anticipate consumers’ wants. Shoppers may come into your store for milk or motor oil, but on the way to those products, help them see items they really want: impulse buys.
These are the items with the highest profit margins, the snacks and consumables people enjoy. After they pick up that gallon of milk, they might pick up cookies to go with it.
Products at eye level are seen first, so manufacturers always want their products on those premium shelves. Keep your sections organized by product so people will look up and down to find the brand they want. Group candies on two or three gondolas. Put salty snacks in their own area.
Another premium display area is the space under and around the checkout counter, because customers have to see this area on their way out of the store. Make sure you use this space to its maximum effectiveness and stock it with more of the most appealing items.
Feature new products — such as a new type of candy bar — up front, with good prices. Manufacturers will want to work with you on those prices, because they want their product to catch on, too.
Of course, you don’t just want junk food on display. Fresh food should be up front, too: bananas, apples and oranges, in attractive wicker baskets. “Fresh” is a key word here: Make sure your produce is in peak condition. Marketing terms like “organic” (if accurate) and “fresh harvest” will signal to your customers that healthful food is in the offering.
And while someone is buying a banana, they might buy that candy bar, too.
Put a section aside for seasonal or tourist items. Especially if your store is just off the highway, offer a selection of souvenirs, from coffee mugs to T-shirts.
During football season, create a nice beer display for the weekend. Add snacks that people will want to buy for the game.
And as the holidays approach, offer festive surprises, like seasonal flavors in your coffees. Pumpkin spice says Thanksgiving and Christmas. Pleasant touches like this will put customers in a good mood as well as sell more products.