In 2016, it was predicted that 35 percent of Americans are planning to take a family vacation 50 miles or more away from home. With so many people traveling you need to make sure your store is appealing so that customers are more likely to stop in and make a purchase. Attracting Travelers During a road trip,..
In January 2017, 63.8 percent of c-store shoppers made a candy or gum purchase. This makes your customers’ favorite sugar cravings an important category in your c-store. Learning about who they are and why they are buying can help you offer the best selection. Types of Candy Purchases Some of the most common instances of candy..
The convenience industry is an exciting fast paced world where owner’s can look forward to exciting growth in the coming years. Within the last thirty years the number of c-stores has dramatically increased by 63%, showing that people are taking advantage of how profitable owning a convenience store can be. Continued Growth As the c-store industry grows rapidly, many have analyzed the..
The number of unbanked citizens worldwide hovers around 2.5 billion, according to recent stats. This means that there are millions and millions of people who have no access to banking institutions or financial services. Globally there are many reasons why people are unbanked from country to country. Many regions lack access and are still rural..
Jack Link’s has rolled out a whole new twist on their famous meat links. Now introducing a breakfast line with high and complete protein meat that will allow customers to enjoy Jack Link’s any time of day. Jack Link’s A.M. will allow customers to pick from bacon or sausage flavors that will appeal to a variety..
By now, all c-store retailers should be aware of the importance of optimizing the shelves in their store. Where a product is placed can make all the difference in whether it sells. There are several best practice concepts that store owners can use to best organize their store shelves and keep their profits rising. Focus..
Rewards programs are emerging as one of the most helpful tools that c-store’s can use to keep customers coming in. Rewarding your customers for being loyal is not just for big chains anymore. Creating a program can be easy and stress-free if you have the right information and tools. Why a Rewards Program? Having a system..
Chances are, some of your faithful patrons fall into the category of unbanked consumers. This means they join approximately 7 percent of Americans who do not have a checking or savings account. Many of these consumers are living paycheck to paycheck and use alternative financial services for their financial needs. But they may benefit from..
By 2018 there will be more mobile devices than people on the planet. This means that mobile is one of the easiest ways to communicate and build relationships with your customers. A mobile application for your store will allow you to engage with them in their preferred method of communication, and explore a whole new way..
Millennials and their unconventional approach to traditional processes have had a big impact on the retail and banking industries. Their generation makes up about a third of all convenience store traffic, according to Convenience Store News. This means there’s a big financial benefit in wooing millennial customers and paying attention to their behaviors. Some financial..
Ravi Patel is the owner of Little Giant convenience store in Calhoun, Georgia. For the last six years, Patel has strived to make his business better than his competition by going above and beyond in the areas of customer service and convenience. Why Little Giant? Patel has never been the type to sit in front..
“Unbanked” and “Underbanked” consumers have a variety of options when it comes to wiring money to others or to pay bills quickly. Since unbanked consumers have no checking or savings account available to transfer money, this is an important alternative financial service for millions of households across the country. Likewise, underbanked consumers have a bank..
Candy dollar sales are predicted to grow 1.8 percent in 2017. Take advantage of this growth by learning the current trends that customers will want to buy from your c-store. Healthier Options A recent health trend has struck the snack and candy market. Consumers are wanting more options that will adhere to their specific dietary needs. Whether it..
While gasoline purchases are the number one reason why shoppers go to convenience stores, food and beverages follow close behind at number two. Consumers of all ages are drawn to the ease of grabbing a quick drink whether it’s on their way to work or before they get back on the road for a road..
The costs of being an “unbanked” and “underbanked” consumer are more expensive than many people realize. Although many unbanked and underbanked consumers have limited financial resources, the excessive costs associated with fees on their alternative financial services and transactions tend to add up quickly. Here are some of the costs incurred by the unbanked or..
During the Summer months, customers will be pouring into c-stores in search for their favorite products. As your store begins to gain heavier foot traffic, prepare for the increase in customers by optimizing your store’s space. Many store owners find that their store is lacking organization or structure that can be hindering their customer’s overall experience. Learn how..
Temperatures are already rising and the days are getting longer, which means summer is coming up fast. While popsicles and ice cream are always a fan favorite for keeping cool all season long, there’s another great frozen treat on the market that’s guaranteed to keep customers coming back for more, even after summer’s over. goEBT’s..
C-store sales often get a summertime boost due to thirsty out-of-school kids. Take advantage of the 4.5% increase in sales by choosing items specifically for warmer months. Picking the right products and learning how to market towards children can make a huge splash in your Summer profits. Selling Summer Products When picking the products you want to stock for the..
Studies say that most people spend 53 hours a year at the grocery store. However, as technology has evolved and the consumer demand for more convenience has grown, more consumers are turning toward grocery delivery options. In fact, as of 2015 a quarter of global respondents were already ordering groceries online and having them delivered..
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation reported that about 7 percent of households in this country are considered “unbanked.” This means that they do not have a checking or savings account at a financial institution. Another 9 percent of households are “underbanked”, meaning they may have a checking or savings account but still have limited access..
In today’s food and retail industries, choices are seemingly endless and several trends are driving the way that consumers purchase and eat food. One trend, healthy eating, continues to be critical to the success of many food retailers and restaurants today. Over time, Americans have become more health conscious than ever and now they expect..
Large companies are on the hunt to acquire c-stores. Just in 2017, there have been hundreds of stores acquired pushing new competitors into the c-store market. As companies compete for growth it is important to know the latest company acquisitions, the pros and cons of selling your store, and what the outlook is for the..
Even in this age of innovation and technology, many small-business owners still see an influx of “unbanked” customers in their stores. Unbanked customers don’t rely on debit or credit cards and make all of their purchase with cash. This may be good news for some merchants because cash customers provide a simple and instant income..
In 2010, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was passed. This legislation protected small business owners and consumers alike, by placing a limit on the fees that banks could charge businesses for debit and credit card swipes. The fee reform meant business owners could grow their bottom line without hiking up prices..
As a merchant, it’s beneficial to understand the financial background and spending habits of your customers. This information can help your business to be more profitable and help you better meet the needs of your customers. If your customers are categorized as “unbanked” or “underbanked” consumers, it’s important for you to understand what those terms..
In a scientific telephone survey of 1,000 adult Americans, 75 percent said they have made an impulse purchase. By definition, impulse buying is the act of purchasing something unplanned after feeling the sudden urge to buy a product. This often happens when a customer has come into your c-store to buy a specific item but..
The convenience store is a staple in almost every neighborhood. Although these neighborhoods and the people who live in them are all different, some studies have shown that trends do exist across the convenience industry and the customers that frequent stores across the country. While your “regular” customers may frequent your c-store simply because they’re..
We’re well into the year 2017, and the May 17th deadline for ensuring your store is up to date with new SNAP retailer stocking regulations is fast approaching. If you haven’t already, look over the changes that have been made to stocking requirements and make sure your store is carrying all the right products to..
The checkout counter is the last chance to get customers to purchase additional items and leaves a lasting impression in customers’ minds. Making sure your counter has a tempting “selling zone” that draws in impulse shoppers to increase your profits. Understanding what is working and how you can improve can make all the difference. If..
Owning and operating your very own business comes with a lot of responsibility, which for some people, can mean a lot of worry. While it can be easy to get caught up in the anxiety of failing or making mistakes, operating your c-store in a constant state of fear could be the reason your business..
There are over 155,000 c-stores in the Unites States alone. Competition is on every owner’s mind. Whether it is a new business opening down the street or a rival store that you’ve been competing with for years, understanding how customers think and why they might choose another store over you is the first step improving your c-store. 1. Price – “a..
In today’s regulatory environment, health inspectors are evaluating retailers on the efforts they are making to keep their consumers safe rather than what might already be wrong. Inspections are no longer only intended to check for obvious potential dangers, but also to examine the procedures and standards in an individual business. As inspectors are becoming..
Keeping the right products in your store is about more than simply finding the ones you get a great deal on, the ones other stores are carrying, or even the ones customers have bought before. Deciding what products you should stock in your store, and how, should rely on a careful strategy. This strategy is..
To get ready for spring some of the biggest chocolate companies are rolling out holiday-themed versions of their most popular candies. Check out what yummy items you could carry this spring to bump up profits and draw in customers with a sweet tooth! Mars Dove Chocolate Peanut Butter Eggs; Mars has redesigned their famous Dove..
The 2016 United States presidential election left a considerable portion the country with many uncertainties about the future. One major area of concern going into 2017 is the country’s economy and the outlook for current and potential business owners. While 80% of roughly 1,400 executives from small and mid-sized businesses across the country say that..
Out of stock can sometimes mean out of business, according to Jim Callahan of Convenience Store Decisions. Many owners have not been paying attention to the effects that out-of-stock products can have on a c-store. It is important to understand how this is happening and how it can cause you to lose major profits if..
We really can’t say this enough: Owning and operating a convenience store is a tough job. When you are a single store owner with very little help, this job is even harder. Not only do many c-store owners independently own and operate their store, they are often actually doing the day to day work inside..
While some people couldn’t imagine a life without a bank account and/or credit and debit cards, this is reality for many Americans. Today, 7.7% of American households have no bank account at all. There’s also another 17.9% of households that may have an account, but still rely on alternative financial services like check-cashing services or..
One of the most important aspects of owning a c-store is deciding product pricing to make the most profit. Learning to develop your pricing strategies, knowing what to avoid, and understanding the importance of knowing your competition’s prices helps you be informed and make the best pricing decisions. The following information will give you a foundation..
When someone says “convenient store” or “c-store” some people think of a very small store, often connected to a gas station, filled with snacks and beverages. Many people frequent c-stores for their junk food fixes or grab-and-go meals. However, many business owners are redefining the c-store by making the most of their space and location..
A large part of being successful within the convenience industry is being able to provide great customer service. One way many owners fall short is by not understanding how much communication with your customers can affect this service. It is important to learn the common errors that occur and how you can easily improve communication..
The unbanked and underbanked American consumers are always looking for the businesses that can help make their lives easier. They also value the businesses that they can trust. Because many convenience stores are in communities where there is a high population of people who are underserved by traditional financial institutions, they have a unique opportunity..
Today, there are 25 million unbanked people and 40 million underbanked people in the United States with no or low credit scores. The uniqueness of the unbanked and underbanked population is changing the services businesses provide and the way they accommodate their consumers. These consumers have become an important asset to the c-store industry and..
Nearly two-thirds of convenience stores are independently owned and operated. The single-store or family owned business has recently re-emerged as a major trend in convenience. Some large stores are even remodeling their locations to achieve the small business and more local aesthetic. With new and innovative trends still giving the larger companies and chains a competitive advantage, Mom and Pop c-stores are left..
In the food and beverage retail industry, women make up more than half of the workforce but are only 27% of its management. The women who do hold these roles within the c-store industry are making a difference. Due to their numerous achievements, these women are pushing past challenges and taking their companies and stores to new levels..
Recently, the USDA passed a new rule regarding minimum stock requirements for SNAP authorized retailers. The changes to the rule are significant, but should not be very difficult for convenience store owners to comply with. As of May 17, 2017, the following changes will take effect: What does this mean? When these new requirements take..
In the ‘80s, ‘90s and early 2000s, the FBI took great strides in educating and protecting c-store chains from crime. In recent years, many new ‘Mom and Pop’ single owner stores have emerged into the c-store industry. Without the proper knowledge and resources, these stores have become vulnerable to crime, especially those choosing to operate 24 hours..
One of the toughest, yet most important, responsibilities that comes with being the owner and operator of a convenience store is keeping your store stocked with all of the products your customers want and need. This task is especially difficult when you’re a single store owner with nowhere near the same resources as the large..
Know Your Location’s Risks Different parts of the country face different kinds of disasters. The top five states with the highest exposure to multiple natural hazards are Florida, Rhode Island, Louisiana, California, and Massachusetts. While Michigan, West Virginia, New York, North Dakota and Vermont are the least likely to be hit by a natural disaster…
Running a c-store is becoming increasingly complex. Combine together new trends with changing technology and new competitors, and you’ll find that running a c-store can seem overwhelming. Here are the top five most confusing c-store concepts explained so you can understand what is going on with the convenience industry today. Clean and Healthy Foods In 2017 customers..
Today, there are roughly 44.2 million Americans receiving food stamp benefits, including children. With an average of $125 in benefits being issued to each individual in the program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a critical part of the federal aid available to low income Americans. Over the years, the program has evolved a..
C-store’s are evolving quickly as a younger generation of owners are coming in and changing the way we view convenience. The “modern convenience concept” includes an array of new techniques that appeal to both older and younger customers. Below are some of typical “modern” c-store components to help you understand what is different about these new..
7-Eleven In 1927, 7-Eleven started off as an icehouse in Dallas. Ninety years later, with over 8,000 franchises in the US and Canada alone, it is one of the largest c-store chains to date. Known for its Slurpee and Big Gulp drinks, 7-Eleven is undoubtedly the most recognized convenience store in the world. 7-Eleven’s biggest..
Tax Season is well underway, and while most of us would probably like to think about taxes as little as possible, it’s important that both you and your store are ready. Between filing your own business’ tax returns and your consumers filing theirs, there is plenty to consider between now and April 18th. Work with..
54.8% of consumers celebrate Valentine’s Day. Every February customers spend money on candy, flowers, and other holiday related products. With total spending expected to reach $18.2 billion, it is important to make sure your store is stocked and ready for Valentine’s Day. Preparing for Profits “According to the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association, retail outlets..
Trying to decide what you should sell in your store can be stressful. Cigarettes and alcohol sales have been a major factor in c-store sales over the last several years. Now with recent changes in government regulations make sure you are aware of what is happening and how it can affect your c-store this coming..
It’s 2017 and W-2s have been printed and mailed. While you’re planning for you own tax obligations, be aware that many consumers are filing their own taxes and likely receiving a refund. According to IRS data, “8 out of 10 US taxpayers will get a refund averaging just under $3,000”1. Often, these lump sums become..
Throughout the year there are many different events that are specifically intended to benefit the convenience store industry. From food and drink expos, to discussions about new government regulations, there is an event that every c-store owner can benefit from. Look through the list we compiled below to see which events you will want to keep..
To prepare for the Super Bowl, U.S. consumers spend $14.3 billion every year, with 79% of people purchasing only food items[i]. No matter where your c-store is, you will undoubtedly be catering to customers who are coming to stock up on all the most popular game day essentials. This means that you need to make..
In the past year, numerous apps and different types of software have been developed to help owners take their business to a new level of efficiency. As a hard working c-store owner, you need every piece of technology to save time, money, and keep your business running smoothly. Take a look at our top picks..
The winners of the largest consumer-voted award for product innovation in 2016 have now been announced[i]. Take a look at the innovative products that actually sold last year, new items being introduced this year and those predicted to do well in 2017. Last Year’s Best Sellers There are many different categories of products that you can..
Mastercard and Visa have moved the liability shift for EMV at the fuel pump from October 2017 to October 2020. So what can you do to fight fraud and protect your customers now without EMV technology? The first step in fighting fraud outside of your c-store is understanding how fuel pump fraud occurs and the..
2016 was a successful year for the convenience retail and gas station industry. Now 2017 is here, and soon, a new President will be inaugurated. Most citizens are expecting change, but many are not sure what kind and to what extent. For many business owners, whether small or large, new legislation on the horizon is..
One of the number one customer generators is “word-of-mouth” referrals. As the way that people communicate with one another continues to evolve, we find ourselves a long way away from the days of a true face-to-face recommendation. Now your business’ continued success is depending on the conversations of the internet, social media in particular. With..
The prepaid cards industry is often overlooked and underestimated by c-store owners. With over $76.7 billion loaded collectively just in 2014, now is the time to consider selling a product to the 10 million Americans without a checking account may be looking for in your store[i]. Increasing Popularity In the past few years prepaid cards..
C-store services have been developing increasingly fast over the last few years. Customers are expecting more, and now is the time to invest in money services that will benefit your shoppers, business, and community. “Convenience stores are intensely local businesses that offer an ever-growing range of products and services. Most of all, they sell convenience, allowing..
As of 2015, 7% of American consumers were unbanked and 19.9% were underbanked. This means that almost 27% of consumers have no bank account and very limited access to many other financial resources, such as credit cards and more. For this population of the United States, apps, websites, and automatic payments just aren’t beneficial. Ensuring..
With 58% of business leaders expecting definite convenience industry growth in 2017[i], it is crucial that owners continue to uphold and enhance their c-store image. This will help you retain old customers, attract new ones, and boost sales in 2017. Improving Your Store Image One of the best ways to improve the way your store..
In 2015, 12% of all c-stores underwent renovations[i] ̶ because re-inventing your store’s design is one of the best ways to draw in new customers. Throughout the year sales can rise and drop, so it is very important to make sure you are continually trying to make your store the best that it can be. One way to..
“With gas prices down, many major gasoline retailers are finding new and improved ways to make the traditional refueling experience more efficient and enjoyable for consumers.”[i] In an industry with heavy competition, it is important to stay informed about what other store owners are doing differently. Consider making some of these changes to help your..
“Convenience stores don’t just serve communities — they invest in them. With this large investment, they have a stake in the community’s success and seek to enhance it”[i]. As a c-store owner, there is constant pressure to have a business that is up-to-date. This can cost you a lot of time and money. Luckily, there..
Sixty-four percent of c-store owners have labeled new store concepts as a strategic priority for 2017[i]. With innovation around every corner owners are striving to balance an improved shopping experience with expanded offerings. Some of these offerings could include innovative ideas like remote-controlled POS systems, digital fuel sign software, or interactive fuel pumps. With current..
94% of people cite Wi-Fi as the most important amenity a business can provide[i]. Providing internet access for your customers is an easy upgrade to make that will not only transform your c-store, but also give you an edge against competitors. Set yourself up for success in the new year by bringing in this highly..
Along with the cold weather comes the need for new seasonal products. Whether it’s a holiday snack trend or a beverage to keep them warm, customers are wanting new and different products to satisfy their winter cravings. Quality Coffee When buying in bulk, higher quality coffee can be very inexpensive, and an easy way to..
Preparation is the biggest factor when transferring your store to a family member. After spending countless hours to improve your business and maximize your income, the last thing you want is a lengthy and stressful transfer once you are ready to pass on your store. With your future in mind, the following information will help..
80 to 90 percent of all businesses are family-owned, -run, or –managed, and 63.1% of all c-stores in the U.S. are owned and operated by just one person[i]. We understand how hard it is to run your own convenience store. After working 60+ hours per week, long term success and transferring your business may not always be the first..
In 2014, 31.8 million US consumers had their credit cards used in fraudulent transactions – three times more than in 2013. Now more than ever convenience and small grocery store owners are at risk for fraudulent activity at their business. This makes fraud protection important for store owners to practice. Although it can seem confusing,..
In 2013, fresh produce sales in the United States reached an estimated $43 billion1. As consumers continue to seek out healthier meal options, this number continues to rise. Unfortunately, while convenience stores make up 33.9% of all retail locations in the U.S., they account for less than 1% of the fresh produce sales1. However, today’s..
Store owners in the convenience store industry obviously rely on convenience to succeed. However, some fail to realize that in today’s retail landscape, convenience is a priority of every business. Most retailers are making changes to the standard retail store to improve the customer experience. Today, the fight to keep a retail business thriving is..
The convenience store industry is demanding and continuing to grow and evolve as time goes on. While c-store ownership holds a lot of appeal, it also presents quite a few challenges and lifestyle changes. Today’s convenience store owners, whether they own one or many stores, work very hard and have many more responsibilities than the..
As a convenience or grocery store owner, you likely rely on a number of other companies and vendors to keep your business running. With an accountant, product distributor, insurance provider, and credit card processor at minimum you already have several different third parties playing a role in your business’ success. While it is easier to..
Convenience stores often experience a very high turnover rate and are usually severely understaffed. Store owners have a hard time finding and keeping reliable and dedicated employees, especially in small single-location businesses. Of course, there are common human resources struggles in the hiring process and the fact that many people simply avoid working in retail..
We’ve spoken with a lot of our goEBT merchants via surveys and focus groups in an attempt to learn as much about the convenience and small grocery industry, and their unique businesses in particular. We know that for the store owners and operators of these small stores, life is filled with the challenges and pressure..
Seasonality is not only an opportunity to capitalize on different variations of products, but a chance to remind your customers that you’re paying attention to what they need and want. A changing season is a great time to shift your store strategy and keep traffic and sales booming throughout the year. As the temperature begins..
We always keep our eyes and ears open for what’s next and what’s important in the convenience and small grocery store industry. We also enjoy sharing this information with the store owners and operators that need it. Of course, what may be most helpful to you and your business might be different from what is important to..
Pay-at-the-pump technology was a game changer for the gas station and convenience store industry. Because of this advancement, today’s average fuel consumer only has to spend about five minutes filling their tank and paying at the pump, and never has to wait in a line or walk into a building. While this technology has enhanced..
For decades, store owners in the convenience and small grocery store industry have been primarily focused on meeting the needs of the customer on-the-go. In years past, this customer has sought out the usual bag of chips, candy bars, bottled soda, or even quick-serve hot foods like hot dogs or pizza. Over time, the convenience..
As the year passes by, seasons and holidays continue to pass and the habits of consumers continue to evolve. Convenience stores have a unique advantage when it comes to optimizing for the various times of year and altering their store and strategy as needed. As the place where many consumers stop in a hurry or..
Are your customers pulled to be loyal to your store beyond physical convenience? One problem goEBT customers have described is the difficulty of gaining new loyal customers, besides the ones that live nearby. One goEBT customer said, “Most of my customers are people who live within 100 feet of my store, the rest only come..
In your typical C-Store or small grocery store, every item on every shelf has an image and writing on it and the same goes for everything on your walls and windows. With all that visual “white noise” consumers report noticing virtually no signage in a typical c-store or small grocery (1). So if customers report..
You’ve probably found that the way in which people shop, including the way they pay, has evolved a great deal over the last decade. Likewise, it’s no secret that mobile devices have changed the way we do almost everything in our lives. You can order food on your phone, change the TV channel with your..
One key factor in maximizing your sales is paying close attention to the trends in your sales as the day goes on. In the c-store industry, the different times of the day have long been referred to as “dayparts” and they have been the cornerstone upon which many stores have built their sales and marketing..
As an entrepreneur, your goal is to see your business thrive and of course to make more money. One of the key ways to boost sales, is to increase foot traffic inside your store. When you increase the visits to your store, you also have the opportunity to increase the number of customers who are..
As the year 2016 has continued on, we’ve seen a number of changes to the convenience and grocery industry. From the use of the new “chip card” technology to the growing popularity of grab-and-go meals and foodservice, the convenience store as we knew it before is pretty different. One thing that has remained and probably..
As a small store owner, it can often seem like you’re in a deadlock when wanting to add to your store and build your business. Obstacles often present themselves in a number of ways. We’ve heard from merchants that site property limitations, small budgets, legal hurdles, security concerns, and even staffing struggles as some of..
In the past few years, millennials, their habits, and their influence on the world have become hot topics. The term “millennial” has become a way for the earlier generations to stereotype their younger counterparts and almost an ongoing joke about the behaviors of 20-somethings today. Although the prevalent narcissism and entitlement in the millennial generation,..
If you’ve been a goEBT retailer before the start of 2016, you’ve probably noticed a few changes. We’re staying true to our original promise of doing our best to help you grow your business, and in order to do so, we’ve been asking a lot of questions and adjusting our focus as necessary. Here are..
If you’re the owner of a grocery or convenience store, having loyal customers is probably a priority of yours. If not, it should be. When you have customers that value your business and actually prefer to spend their money at your store, your overall success is much more likely. The more loyal customers you have,..
Technology’s constantly evolving for one reason or another. When it comes to technology in the payments industry, it’s usually for one of two reasons: security or convenience, sometimes both. When these changes take place, it’s generally a necessity for businesses to upgrade accordingly and avoid vulnerabilities or the stigma that comes with outdated technology. With..
Hardworking entrepreneurs rely on the vendors they use for various services, including payment processing, to provide the quality service they need to continue building a successful business. In today’s world, businesses rely heavily on electronic payments to process their daily transactions and make money. When you are the owner and operator of a small business,..