Convenience Store News - December 2017 - 30

SMALLOPERATOR

Grow Your Customer
Base - or Die
Be nimble, be quick: Here are tips to draw in
new customers and retain them
By Renée M. Covino

T

he retail industry is all too familiar with the
"grow or die" adage, as chains across various
channels operate in the shadow of mega-companies like Amazon. But what about the smaller and
independent players that have no immediate expansion
plans? Does the grow-or-die concept apply to them?
If the question is centered on growing the customer
base, it certainly does.
In many cases today, smaller and independent
operators are more intimately in touch with their customers. "Small convenience store operators understand
how important time is to their customers," said JeanEric Penicaud, chief operating officer of Survey.com,
which measures product introductions and more at
c-stores. "This extends beyond their location and the
time it takes to get in and out of their store, and into
the role they play in their

customers' lives."
Prepared food is a perfect example of how small
operators are expanding the role they play in the lives
of the communities they serve, according to Penicaud.
"It is critical that they embrace the role of product
curator to help their customers with immediate needs
and grow their business," he stressed.
At the NACS Show this year, held in October, new
offerings for parents, pet owners and health enthusiasts, designed specifically with convenience stores in
mind, stood out to Penicaud as up-and-coming areas.
Small convenience store operators and independents

30 Convenience Store News | DECEMBER 2017 | WWW.CSNEWS.COM

are positioned to be natural trend setters, he believes,
because they're able to jump on new items quicker
than their larger counterparts, and this attracts new
customers when the word gets out.
Other perspectives on how small c-store operators
can be new-customer magnets include:
BE NIMBLE TO TECHNOLOGY

The simple business adage of grow or die is behind
the advancements being introduced to the market
by many technology companies looking to help give
retailers an edge with their existing customers and
potential new customers.

The fundamental goal of a small convenience store
business is the same as the fundamental goal of a
larger one - to attract a "rather steady increase" in
its customer base, noted Jeffrey Smith, vice president
of business development for software company Digital
Social Retail. Seeing a steady increase confirms that
the business is in line with what customers are looking
for, he added.
On the other hand, a plateau in customer base


http://www.Survey.com http://WWW.CSNEWS.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Convenience Store News - December 2017

Contents
Convenience Store News - December 2017 - Cover1
Convenience Store News - December 2017 - Cover2
Convenience Store News - December 2017 - 3
Convenience Store News - December 2017 - 4
Convenience Store News - December 2017 - 5
Convenience Store News - December 2017 - Contents
Convenience Store News - December 2017 - 7
Convenience Store News - December 2017 - 8
Convenience Store News - December 2017 - 9
Convenience Store News - December 2017 - 10
Convenience Store News - December 2017 - 11
Convenience Store News - December 2017 - 12
Convenience Store News - December 2017 - 13
Convenience Store News - December 2017 - 14
Convenience Store News - December 2017 - 15
Convenience Store News - December 2017 - 16
Convenience Store News - December 2017 - 17
Convenience Store News - December 2017 - 18
Convenience Store News - December 2017 - 19
Convenience Store News - December 2017 - 20
Convenience Store News - December 2017 - 21
Convenience Store News - December 2017 - 22
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Convenience Store News - December 2017 - Cover3
Convenience Store News - December 2017 - Cover4
Convenience Store News - December 2017 - U1
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