C-Store First Impressions – 5 Quick Tips

First Impressions Matter

It’s not just convenient to stop at a c-store; there are many factors that come into play when a customer decides to visit your location. Whether they stop for fuel, food, a bathroom break, or to stretch their legs–make sure your store shines from the road to pull them in your direction. It’s easy for customers to drive-by to the next stop if they are not receiving positive first impressions.

I have been in that situation more than once and I will always drive past a convenience store that does not impress me from the road.

Read on for 5 Quick Tips to review your c-store from the customer’s eyes and make sure you are offering the best first impression you can and not turning away potential customers before they give you a chance.

The Customer’s Perspective

  • Cleanliness–Look beyond the inside of the store. Get in your car and drive around as a customer would. What do you see that could use some extra attention? Set aside time to walk the property and pick up any loose debris, clean the windows, sweep the sidewalk, and don’t forget the 6 germiest hot spots, such as door handles, gas pump handles, and at-pump-squeegees.
  • Signage–It’s time to replace those burnt out or flickering light bulbs in your illuminated exterior signage. Interior signage should be clean, easy to read, and highlight the products you are currently selling. Also, don’t forget to make sure window signage is limited so that it doesn’t take over every square inch of space–this looks messy and limits natural light.
  • Layout–Are your aisles clean, or are you guilty of storing extra boxes of products on the ground? If you are, it’s time to tidy-up. The isles should be clear, restroom access should be visible and easily accessible, and make sure the all of your cooler doors can fully open.
  • Personnel–Do your employees represent you as an owner and as a brand? Friendly, personable, presentable, and helpful should be the adjectives used to describe staff. CStoreDecisions.com has a great piece that further explores your staff’s first impression to customers.
  • Products–Check those expiration dates and keep your products properly rotated. I once purchased a pre-packaged sandwich that was expired, but didn’t notice until after I had left. I have steer clear of that store ever since, and now check the date at every convenience store I frequent.
Image Source: CSPDailyNews.com

Image Source: CSPDailyNews.com

Bonus Quick Tip

  • Aromas–Don’t underestimate the sense of smell to push foodservice. CStoreDecisions.com notes that the aromas of fresh-baked cookies and fresh-brewed coffee in the morning and freshly-popped popcorn in the afternoon will draw customers to your foodservice area, enticing them to make a purchase they might not have otherwise.


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