C-Store operators are constantly looking for ways to increase impulsive buying. Stores leverage “Gas, Cokes, and Smokes” for an opportunity to sell candy bars, quick bites, car washes, and a whole array of other items. This can be a winning strategy – so the question becomes how do we measure how much we’re winning by?
The relationship between how we engaged a customer and the resulting purchase is called a “conversion”. Conversion tracking is one of the most important and widely used metrics in retail – particularly in eCommerce. In eCommerce, this is also how sites like Amazon are able to provide suggestions and steer you to larger basket sizes.
Anytime someone reads an article or clicks an ad before buying online, someone is tracking those actions. They’re immensely important! Understanding these actions provides insights on how to best engage your customers, increase the likeliness of a sale, and increase the number of items being purchased. Conversion insights are one of the most important metrics in convenience retail that no one is using.
There’s all kinds of conversions happening in your stores that you need to be measuring. The most obvious are forecourt conversions. This is the metric that shows a customer’s journey from the pump to an in-store sale. Imagine being able drive a 1% increase here! Based on the national average of number of customers per day per store and the average amount each spends – Just 1 store would generate an additional $30,000 in revenue per year. This is just one type of conversion in a typical c-store!
What about measuring conversions from quick service restaurant (QSR)? Stores should be providing key information on who, what, when, why, where, and how customers converted between your QSR and in-store. Gas to car wash? You should know what drove that too!
Once you can measure, you can improve – especially if you’re capable of localized insights at a store by store level. Through such a versatile key performance indicator (KPI), there are so many ways to take advantage of it, grow revenue, and improve margins. Some important questions to consider are:
- Who’s converting? And importantly – who isn’t and why not?
- Which stores have the highest and lowest conversion rates? What’s driving the difference?
- What was the average basket size, the frequency of multiple items being purchased together, and margin of the conversion?
- How do different days of the week and even times of the day impact conversions?
- What offers, promotions, and signage will improve conversions to key areas?
Conversions can be notoriously difficult to track in a c-store environment. New technologies and techniques are changing this. Measuring conversions will have a profound impact on the revenue and profitability of your c-stores.
This is just one key area where localized, actionable intelligence benefits c-store organizations. As Peter Drucker says: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”