C-Store Layout: Top 5 Tips for an Amazing Plan

Inventory in C-Store is easily managed by the back office software

When it comes to service stations, the bulk of profit comes from sundry sales. Fuel sales usually have thin and static margins. That’s why using a layout that will contribute to more purchases from customers is a must. The layout of your store will be very dependent on its size and shape so you should look into which layout would work best with your specific location. Not only will a proper layout promote impulse purchases, it will also efficiently guide foot traffic. During peak times this is indispensable and will build a good reputation for your brand.

#1 Pick a slightly less efficient store layout

Your customers will usually want to be in and out as fast as possible, usually spending 3 minutes or less in your store (Convenience.org) . This is not what you want. Despite increased in-store throughput being a good thing, you also want your customers to spend a few extra minutes in your store in order to boost the chance they will pick up extra items. While there are many different floor plans, the best ones will allow for the clerk to have a good view of your store, provide multiple chances for customers to make extra purchases, and slow them down slightly, getting them to spend more time in-store. You can make up this time difference by using a good point of sale system with quick and accurate transactions.

It’s generally accepted that the diagonal store layout is the best for businesses where the cashier needs a view of the entire store.

#2 Display impulse items by the checkout

Having impulse items in your checkout lane is one of the easiest ways to make customers spend more. These are typically small and low cost items that customers will pick up without a second thought. Gum, mints, lighters, and small snacks are all great choices. The customer is ready to pay when they’re at checkout, so they’ll be more willing to add on items since they’re already in a spending mindset. Capitalizing on this behaviour is a great way to pad the average transaction total. You should also consider laying out promotions and sale items near your checkout and right after the decompression zone. This positioning will create a sense of urgency and push customers to make a decision in the moment.

#3 Make your checkout easily accessible

            Since some customers value convenience, you must have your checkout lane in an easily accessible area. This is where your layout becomes very important for your store’s success. Customers can become frustrated if their checkout takes too long and this is very damaging to your brand’s reputation. You should place your checkout in an area that can be reached quickly from your entrance. You still want to showcase your product selection, though. Studies show that 90% of shoppers move toward the right side of a store after entering. Make use of this statistic and put your register on the left side of your store. Having your checkout there will capitalize on this while also allowing for easy access from the entrance. A right-to-left path is best to guide your customers through your store and leave the checkout accessible.

            Do you ever wonder why grocery store put most food staples like meat, milk, and veggies by the back? It’s because putting them there makes customers look at all the other stuff in the front. Placing popular and high-demand items in the furthest section of your store is a great way to subtly guide customers into looking at other products. Pair this technique with eye-level product placement and you’ll significantly improve the chances that customers will pick up extra items. While you can do this with items alone, if your store layout is small enough, it is also advisable to place your checkout lane in this area. However, try and avoid doing this is you feel your customers will become frustrated with the time it takes to reach the checkout.

#5 Make the store layout comfortable for shoppers

            Ensuring your customers have a relaxing and comfortable shopping experience should be a top priority. When people feel cramped or uncomfortable, they will not be as open to making purchases and this will hurt your bottom line. Design your store layout so that your aisles are wide enough to accommodate multiple customers without causing congestion. An additional point to consider is making sure your store and shelves themselves are not cramped. Having too many products out will overwhelm your customers and make them feel uncomfortable while they shop.

No matter what type of retail business you’re in, the layout of your store is incredibly important. It can help your drive sales, increase throughput, and provide better customer service. However, a good point of sale and great products will always be necessary for your business to succeed. Always compare your options and weigh the costs and benefits before making drastic changes to your business.

Wiz-Tec’s iPOS point of sale is best suited to gas stations and car washes where the attendant needs reliable real-time control of the external equipment.

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