Visibility and availability are the lifeblood of grocery stores. If people aren’t aware your business exists or don’t know what you’re selling, you’re unlikely to get much foot traffic. “Build it and they will come” is a fallacy. It’s especially important to understand shopper psychology.

Grocery Store Sales

You don’t want your grocery to look like the warehouse you get your products shipped from. In fact, you want your shelves and displays to inspire your customers. Here are a few ways to boost sales at your grocery store.

Technology Updates

It’s 2017, and the relationship between human behavior and technology is constantly evolving.  As our capabilities change, so do our expectations and vice versa.  As consumers continuously adjust to evolving technology, they expect the stores they shop at to do the same.  One way to add value to your small store is to update the technology inside it.  A few ways you can do this are:

  • Update your payment processing and Point of Sale System
  • Start digital marketing efforts like social media or SMS offers
  • Install Digital Signage inside your store for advertisements, news, or weather
  • Invest in new gas pumps or an ATM

Think about Shelving Strategy

Product placement on grocery store shelves follows a format. Top shelves commonly carry the smaller brands. The “bull’s eye zone” — also called the “thigh to eye” zone — is where top brands and hot-selling items sit. Shelves at kids’ eye level are strategically packed with items like sugary cereals, Goldfish crackers and fruit snacks — items kids are most likely to ask their parents to purchase. The bottom shelves usually contain bulk items — those big bags of rice and beans — and store brands.

Get the Word Out

Social Media: Having a social media presence where customers can find store news, updates and offers keeps them engaged and nurtures relationships.

Flyers: Traditional marketing isn’t out of style. Flyer insertions in newspapers and magazines, as well as strategically placed posters and banners in your area or at the entrance to your store, help with brand awareness.

Website: A shopper study by GE Capital Retail Bank found that a whopping 81% of consumers go online to research and compare prices before heading to the store. They want as much information as they can get before making a purchase. Create a well-designed website featuring your products, store locations and other relevant information.

Email: Sending flyers, coupons and other marketing materials straight to your customers’ email addresses is a cost-effective alternative to direct mail, which is why if you haven’t yet started building an email list, you should.

Remember that just because customers entrust their email addresses to you doesn’t mean they grant you the license to bombard them with sales and marketing messages. Be respectful. Customers will welcome a regular newsletter and well-timed discount offers, but not obnoxious and pushy marketing messaging.

Community Presence: Participate in and host exhibits, bazaars, cookfests and other local events. Offer attendees or those that sign up for your email list at these events some type of freebie. And offer loyalty rewards so you get customers coming back regularly.

The most important thing to keep in mind when making improvements to your store is that your customers are concerned with their entire experience with your business.  Focus on anything that you see as a major issue and don’t feel obligated to tackle everything at once.  While any of these suggested improvements could help boost your store sales, you can always work on the all-important aspects of your business like customer service or understanding your customer’s needs and wants.

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