Convenience store shoppers are creatures of habit. The average shopper visits the same store 200 times per year. They spend less than five minutes in the store, and, it’s safe to say, they know the store layout like the back of their hand (or at least the aisles they use), says HIM's Jennie Milner. It’s unsurprising, then, that only 15% of convenience store shoppers purchased an item on impulse.

So, how can independent retailers increase this figure? Engagement in store is at its lowest and our data shows that 67% (that’s 10% more than last year) of shoppers are visiting “only the aisles they need to” in store.

One way to increase impulse purchasing is to ensure that you are maximising the hot spots in your store. The obvious hot spot is the till point, as 100% of shoppers will visit here and 18% of shoppers visit only here. This is an opportunity to maximise coverage of the key impulse categories – confectionery, crisps and soft drinks – in this area if possible, to interrupt and tempt shoppers while they are queueing.

Merchandise those products which are commonly purchased together, near each other. You know your store, so if shoppers are visiting the food-to-go fridge fairly often, put crisps and confectionery next to it. Secondary siting of impulse products can only help to increase purchases.

Only 15% of shoppers visit every aisle in your store, so encourage shoppers to use more aisles. Those shoppers who are either topping up for the week or shopping for their evening meal will shop more of the store. Where cross-category merchandising isn’t always possible, think about mission-relevant POS material to remind these shoppers of other products you stock, and disrupt their routine.

And finally, never underestimate the power of your staff. Digital screens are nice to have, but if these aren’t practical for your store then bear in mind that almost half of shoppers said that they would be open to buying a product on promotion if it was suggested to them by a member of staff. You potentially have much to gain by training your cashiers to ask the question!