As a convenience store operator, you need to own the customer experience from the time someone drives onto your property to the time they leave. The messaging should be 100 percent controlled by you to ensure that it is cohesive.
It’s easy for retailers to get caught up in their own interests and sometimes lose focus on what’s important. How can I get the customer to buy more? How do I increase customer footfalls and retention? How do I make the most out of each customer? All valid questions, but if your focus is on issues like these, you’re losing sight of the fact that your customer is your biggest advocate.
Think about the customer journey in terms of what you can give the customer and what you can take away from the customer to make their experience better. Focusing on this improves the customer experience, which should have a direct effect on answering the questions we already spelled out.
C-stores are managing an ever-growing set of marketing platforms as technology expands, and there are more opportunities to reach customers in new ways. With the utilization of many shopper marketing vehicles, cohesion becomes critical. Everything from the fonts and colors that you use to the images and messages in your materials, your brand presence needs to be cohesive.
Mismatched design creates cognitive dissonance. For example, if you use warm colors in videos and neutrals throughout your store design, it makes it difficult for customers to ingest information because they are distracted by the fact that it isn’t flowing or matching. This lack of cohesion prevents customers from mentally connecting the messages. Make sure brand attributes, colors and more are unified to get the most out of your digital merchandising. Your merchandising messages should feel like they belong together, regardless of where customers are experiencing them.
Shopper marketing encompasses the entire customer journey from the moment the customer drives onto your property and sees signage in the forecourt all the way through the customer checking out at the register. While most retailers intend for a loyalty app to drive customers to the property, a loyalty app is the perfect component to a shopper marketing strategy, adding value for the retailer and completing the journey for the customer while they are at your store.
Customer engagement decreases every time someone interacts with a platform that doesn’t engage or pique interest in some way. People have a natural tendency to tune out advertising or sounds and images they’ve seen or heard repeatedly. It’s why parents don’t pull their hair out when they hear a crying baby after the first month. In other words, if your content is repetitive or boring, no one is going to pay attention to it, and therefore, your message won’t get the views it needs to be valuable.
Convenience store retailers need to leverage infotainment or they might as well put up a blank screen. Infotainment means different things to different people, but here is what the experts at Shep have learned.
You’re probably familiar with more traditional advertising tactics for getting customers to your store, but there are also dozens of opportunities for unique marketing strategies once a customer has stepped on to your property. This is called shopper marketing.
Shopper marketing is used to incent a purchase or change purchasing behavior. Or, in more user-friendly phrasing, it is how you get customers to buy what you want them to buy—sometimes even when they did not plan on it. Collectively, every piece of advertising material on your property equals shopper marketing. That includes digital signage, screens in fuel pumps, pump toppers, wobblers, shelf talkers, beauty shots in the store, promotional pricing on shelves, end caps and more.
So, how do you make the most out of the materials you probably already have? We’re glad you asked.