Increasing Convenience Store Sales

Open Locker Network

Top 10 Strategies for Increasing Convenience Store Sales & Foot Traffic

Convenience stores operate in an industry with narrow profit margins – hovering between 1-3%, compared to liquor stores with 15% profit margins and flower shops at 20%.1,2 The challenge for convenience store owners, therefore, is implementing a business plan with strategies that increase retail sales, foot traffic, and profit margins. Find out how to increase convenience store sales with these 10 strategies:

#1 Focus on the Customer Experience

The pandemic taught consumers how to “get in and out” quickly from retail stores – in essence, the DNA of a convenience store. Taking that positioning and optimizing store layouts around that philosophy boosts the retail customer experience. Consumers expect to see beverages along the back wall and everyday items closer to the front and cash register.

#2 Deliver Service with a Smile

Convenience stores aren’t exempt from the customer expectation of quality and friendly service. Greeting customers, saying thank you, and delighting customers translates into return visits. Returning customers spend 33% more per order compared to other customers.3

#3 Introduce Expanded Beverage Offerings

Beverages are emerging as the new battleground for customers’ wallets, especially among Gen-Z. Of those born between 1997 and 2012, 62% have tried a new beverage during the past month.4 As Smoothie King CEO Wan Kim explains: “Younger people are really into beverages. They are moving away from soda and finding alternatives in other sectors.” The opportunity is ripe for convenience store owners to take a sip from the fast-food playbook by offering coffee syrups, mix-and-match soda fountains, and innovative bottled entries in the energy and lemonade sectors. Beverage stations typically offer higher margins than food.

#4 Offer Healthier Options

Recently, the number of Americans consuming plant-based foods increased to 70%, and plant-based food dollar sales jumped to $8 billion, demonstrating the staying power of healthier food options at convenience stores.5 Customers are searching for Keto-based offerings, low-fat options, high-protein foods, fresh fruit, and healthier to-go options, especially given the recent backlash against “ultra-processed” food.

#5 Initiate Easy Ordering & Payment Options

The trend towards BOPIS (Buy Online, Pick-up In-Store) is now an expected feature in every retail environment, including convenience stores. Introducing it now delivers both a competitive advantage and a customer experience benefit.

#6 Optimize Store Signage

Good signage assists customers in navigating your store. It also works to highlight new items or items that are on sale. With 82% of purchase decisions made in-store, featuring new or high-margin items is a clear win/win.6 Signage in convenience stores reinforces the brand name and positioning. Consistency in branding reassures customers that they are in a place they know and trust. Of course, don’t overlook outdoor signage, especially ones that attract night-time drivers.

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#7 Explore Omnichannel Shopping

Omnichannel marketing means customers want the same retail sales experience, in-store or on their computer, tablet, or smartphone. They want the ability to start an order on one device and complete it on another, then seamlessly collect their item in-store.

#8 Introduce a Loyalty Program

Since their debut, customer loyalty cards have appealed to businesses because keeping existing clients is more economical than finding new customers. The data unequivocally supports the merchants. 75% of customers will opt for companies that offer a loyalty program, and repeat customers spend up to 67% more than new customers.7 Further, loyalty programs allow convenience store operators to peek into customers’ shopping habits and create personalized offers, coupons, and promotions.

#9 Embrace Sustainability Practices

According to a recent McKinsey & Company survey, more than half of US consumers worry about how packaging waste affects the environment.8 By reducing single-use plastic bags, incentivizing customers to bring their own bags, swapping paper straws for plastic, and selling more local products, you help the environment and earn the trust of your customers.

#10 Host Smart Lockers

Given ongoing consumer adoption of online shopping and continued package theft challenges across the country, the need for secure, convenient ways to receive packages out-of-home has become more pronounced. Convenience stores, strategically positioned and operating with extended hours, have the ability to fill this need by hosting an Open Locker Network hub at their locations.

Open Locker Network locations, locker hubs where customers can pick up packages from any carrier or local business, carry a halo effect by bringing in more foot traffic and sales for host locations. With most “c-stores” offering long hours, if not 24/7/365 access, customers will appreciate the convenience of picking up their packages on their existing route to work or other everyday destinations. In fact, the metrics for convenience stores are compelling:

Further, hosting lockers positions you at a competitive advantage and demonstrates your commitment to sustainability. 47% of consumers are worried that deliveries are not sent sustainably.14 And 77% of organizations saw increased customer loyalty when taking sustainability approaches.15

If you’re ready to increase sales and foot traffic, it might be time to consider becoming a host in Parcel Pending by Quadient’s Open Locker Network and utilizing the idea of halo spend. Our Open Locker Network allows you to gain all the benefits typically associated with installing lockers – without the usual upfront costs.

Ready to speak to a Parcel Pending sales representative? Contact one today!


  1. SharpSheets. 6 Strategies to Increase Your Convenience Store Sales & Profits. January 11, 2023.
  2. Van Duyne, Allison. Comparing Average Profit Margin by Industry. July 25, 2023.
  3. Stratus Unlimited. Why High Visibility Convenience Store Signage is Important to Your Growth. March 30, 2023.
  4. Haddon, Heather. The Fast-Food Industry Wants to Be the Fast-Drinks Industry, Too. December 20, 2023.
  5. Vegconomist. 70% of US Population is Now Consuming Plant-Based Foods. April 11, 2023.
  6. Stratus Unlimited. Why High Visibility Convenience Store Signage is Important to Your Growth. March 30, 2023.
  7. Beckman, Jeff. Customer Loyalty Stats in 2023: Loyal Customers Spend More!. September 29, 2023.
  8. Feber, D., Granskog, A., et al. Sustainability in packaging: Inside the minds of US consumers. October 21, 2020.
  9. Parcel Pending by Quadient. Parcel Pandemonium: Managing the Challenges of Growing e-Commerce. July 12, 2023.
  10. Ibid.
  11. Parcel Pending by Quadient. Become a Host and Unlock the Power of a Global Open Locker Network. November 30, 2023.
  12. Ibid.
  13. Ibid.
  14. Parcel Pending by Quadient. Sustainable Deliveries and Returns Matter. September 8, 2023.
  15. Ibid.