Retail Trends: How offering additional services can complement your store and encourage footfall
Retail Trends: How offering additional services can complement your store and encourage footfall by Ellie Prior
Convenience stores offer a unique opportunity for customers to not only complete their retail missions, but also accomplish other daily tasks – from postal services to making bill payments and topping up mobile phones. With the ever-increasing pace of modern lifestyles, providing customers with the ability to complete numerous tasks during one visit is an attractive offering, but are the presence of additional services still a lucrative and in-demand extension to a convenience store?
Convenience retailers investing in additional services can reap several benefits, from increasing footfall, to generating supplementary revenue streams, transforming customers on multiple service missions to store customers as well. With the rise of small format supermarket chain stores, convenience retailers providing accompanying additional services can take the crucial upper hand.
The demand for additional services in convenience stores is still significant; Mintel reported that 34% of convenience shoppers regularly use 1 service during a visit to a convenience store, 22% use 2 services, and 12% use 4 or more services.
However, the rise of online services and the increasing capabilities of smartphones has led to services such as topping up phones and making bill payments becoming increasingly redundant. Mobile top up services have seen a significant decline, falling from being present in 83% of stores in 2014, to 68% in 2016. In addition to this, bill payment terminals are becoming increasingly unprofitable for convenience retailers, with recent rising costs resulting in diminishing returns.
Nevertheless, there are many services which remain unaffected by the technological revolution, as well as those given rise to by technology.
One of the most popular services offered at convenience stores are ATMs, with paid or free ATMs featured in 51% of convenience stores. Despite the rise of contactless and mobile payment, cash is still the most common payment method for convenience shoppers; the ACS Shop Local Report found that 79% of convenience shoppers pay by cash, and spend on average £6.13, making an instore ATM a worthwhile service for convenience retailers to provide.
A Post Office is one of the most traditional, and remains one of the most influential and popular services among customers, with 82% of shoppers stating that the presence of a Post Office in a convenience store influences their decision to make regular shop purchases. A Post Office customer is also a lucrative visitor to convenience stores, with 78% of those that use Post Office services also making shop purchases.
Click and collect
Click and collect is one of the newest and fast becoming the most popular additional service, with 21% of convenience store customers having used a click and collect service in the past 6 months. The rise in popularity of this service has been complemented by the accelerated growth of online shopping, however currently only 10% of convenience retailers have click and collect services in place. The addition of this service is a profitable supplement, especially in commuter areas or busy cities where consumers are generally not home to receive orders or prefer to collect them at their leisure.
Meet consumer demand
The additional services provided by convenience stores will always be an important and attractive offering for customers, and a decisive competitive advantage for convenience retailers. The most crucial way to ensure they remain a profitable addition to the store is adapting the service on offer to meet the evolving consumer demand.
For more information on how TLM can help your business impress your customers, increase loyalty and keep up with industry trends, just get in touch!
Author: Ellie Prior, Marketing Intern, TLM Technologies
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