The most successful C-stores know that centering convenience is fundamental to their success. The problem is that as a convenience store grows in popularity, it can become less convenient for its customers.
For example, during rushes, C-stores can actually lose sales as customers see long lines and decide not to make a purchase. Most C-stores target people who are looking to make a quick purchase on their way to somewhere else. Anything that extends this process, including long wait times during busy periods, can prevent you from making sales.
According to a study by The NPD Group, the average convenience store sees significant rush periods during morning and evening commutes. Handling these peak hours is essential if you want to maintain customer satisfaction. Mobile ordering and other mobile device technology can help streamline the checkout process, helping you avoid losing sales and loyalty by addressing issues like:
Congestion During Peak Hours
You might think that it's inevitable for lines to build up in front of checkout points when your c-store is at its busiest. If you rely on staffed checkout registers, lines can get long and may make potential customers think twice about their grocery purchases due to the wait time.
Mobile ordering apps can address this issue. With mobile ordering, your customers can place and pay for their order in advance on the mobile app. All they need to do upon getting to your location is to pick up their order and go. Not only can this help you avoid lost sales, but it can also help you reduce congestion overall as fewer shoppers need to wait in line to check out.
Another common problem C-stores face is determining how to effectively staff the store. Ensure that there is enough staff on the floor to handle peak hours without wasting resources during lulls.
You can simplify staffing through mobile app orders and self-checkout options. Since these reduce peak hour congestion, you won't need extra staff on registers, so staffing fluctuations are minimized. Before and after rushes, you can make the most of your associates' time by having them maintain the store and fulfill each mobile order in advance.
Related: How Spinx reduced checkout times while better utilizing labor in the C-store