This year has seen a huge growth in the convenience sector. Sales are expected to grow 8% in 2020 – up five percent on 2019 – and a quarter of consumers say they now shop more locally due to COVID-19.
With the country back in lockdown, it’s important that small stores make the most of this boom in the market and remain open to provide essential goods and services to the public.
Here are three tips for convenience stores during lockdown 2.0.
In a time when every basket counts, decisions around what products and brands you carry are going to make a big difference to your bottom line.
Small, family-run businesses have greater limits on shelf space, which means it’s important to streamline your offering. By examining sales data and looking at broader shopping trends, you can determine which products to keep and which ones to lose. For example, fewer customers are buying on-the-go foods at the moment, so replacing goods targeted at commuters will allow you to optimise your product offering and generate more sales.
During the first lockdown, a number of larger retailers were inundated with delivery requests. Supermarkets were unable to keep up with demand, forcing consumers to look elsewhere for their food deliveries. This gave rise to a swathe of deliveries among smaller businesses.
New research indicates 70% of consumers plan on using convenience store delivery services more in the future, and there are a number of ways for small businesses to get involved. Some convenience stores are handling the deliveries themselves, taking on the lion’s share of the work and profit. While others are taking the more traditional route and joining apps like Deliveroo and Grocemania.
Whichever option you choose, you’re going to need to embrace home delivery. Home delivery is a growing trend among convenience stores and something your customers are likely to expect before the end of the pandemic.
Keeping an eye on the number of customers in your store can be difficult. Business owners are often too busy to enforce capacity control, and it’s not unusual for customers to flout social distancing measures.
This puts store owners in a tricky position. Failing to monitor customer numbers can endanger customers and put your business at risk of a fixed penalty notice, while being overly strict can mean losing out on sales and ceding customers to your competitors.
So what are small businesses to do?
Capacity control is a digital solution that uses high-tech sensors to monitor the flow of people in and out of your store, saving you time and money, and freeing up staff who would otherwise be occupied guarding the doors.
SECOM’s unique system uses clever 4D infrared technology to monitor capacity and relay information to external screens and speakers, so your customers always know when it’s safe to enter.
Get in touch
Making the most of the coming months is important for the convenience sector. More and more customers are reliant on convenience stores for goods and services, and they help famillies isolate during lockdown. If you’re interested in improving the profitability of your business and want to know how SECOM can help, get in touch on 03332 228 588. You can learn more about SECOM Capacity Control here.