Driving more customers into stores is a big priority for both suppliers and retailers. As part of the Convenience Tracking Programme (CTP), HIM research & consulting asked 24,000 convenience store shoppers what would encourage them to visit their local convenience store more often. Here is what they told us:

• 77% of shoppers said an in-store bakery would encourage them to visit more frequently. An in-store bakery also helps to add a point of difference and produces some wonderful smells to tempt shoppers into your store, as well encouraging them to buy additional food and drink items.

• 74% of c-store shoppers say stocking more locally produced foods would make them visit the store more often. By stocking local produce your store will be further supporting the local community and helping to reduce food miles of produce stocked in store.

• 63% of customers say they would buy loose fruit and vegetables if they were available in store. Fresh produce helps the overall appeal of your store, but fruit and vegetables need to be good quality and “fresh” – not out of date.

• 62% say homemade cakes would make them visit the store more often – how about teaming up with a local baker to offer a selection of delicious cakes?

• More than half of shoppers said they would buy items for their lunch, so could you offer a lunch time special or meal deal? Similar numbers said they would buy freshly squeezed fruit juice and smoothies if available, and this is a great idea to provide a bit of interest and theatre in store.

Some other interesting findings include the fact that over one third of c-store shoppers would like to buy hot tea and coffee, and 38% would be willing to buy breakfast from the store.

It’s not all about range, though. Service is also important, as 21% of shoppers said they would visit the local c-store more often if it accepted credit/debit cards. Are you already offering customers the chance to spend as much money as they like in your store or do you limiting them to the £5 or £10 in their purse?

So if you are not already doing some of these things in your store, hopefully this article will provide you with some food for thought. More insight from HIM is available here. If you decide to trial an idea following this article then why not tell us about it by leaving a comment below?