In part five of the IAA’s 12-week programme, the IAA – and its category partner PayPoint – helps Bhavesh Odedara stand out by looking at digital engagement

This week, our area of focus is digital engagement, which is about how you use technology to listen, learn and communicate with existing and potential customers both in-store and online. Excelling in digital engagement requires a consistent approach with clear objectives. When successful it can grow every area of a business from basket size to footfall to reputation.

Before completing the benchmarks for your shop on the next page, read about Bhavesh’s Academy in Action experience. For Bhavesh, working with PayPoint’s Group Marketing Director, Steve O’Neill, to build a new digital strategy could be the answer to improving store performance on a busy street where a café, Co-op, bakery and butchers challenge many of the staple elements of a modern convenience store.

How can the IAA help Bhavesh turn digital opportunities into tangible business benefits?

Why I take part


“We used to be more active online but the staff member responsible for maintaining this left and we struggled to keep it going, but I’m keen to pick it back up.

Taking part in the IAA and working with PayPoint provides the opportunity to get our online presence back on track, and to look at new ways to understand what the community is looking for before they set foot in store.”

IAA advice for Bhavesh


Bhavesh’s challenge: Ensuring customers can easily find out about his store online

Bhavesh’s Google profile features opening hours and has the correct location, but the images are dated and the shop description does not reflect the wide ranging available. Can better information boost footfall?

Steve says: “Every missing or incorrect piece of information online can result in a shopper not stepping through the door. By taking ownership of his store’s Google listing Bhavesh can call the shots on how his business is shown online. Adding photos and information will show those searching for goods or services in his area that his store is the best choice.”

Action: Take ownership of your shop’s online Google listing, update it with photos and describe the categories you sell.



Bhavesh’s challenge: Connecting with his customers through social media

Bhavesh is reliant on Nisa’s social media posts featuring promotions to drive footfall into his shop, but as the promotions are also featured in-store, he is unaware of their impact. Could a different approach get results?

Steve says: “Leave the promotions to the national page, and build a Facebook page that is about you, your team and the products or services you have in-store. Shout about the great work you do and find out about what your customers want by asking questions. If it’s not something you feel comfortable doing, ask a staff member to take responsibility for updating the page.”

Action: Ask a staff member to update the shop’s Facebook page and post a few images each week, and set engagement targets.


Bhavesh’s challenge: Understanding his business and customers with data

Bhavesh uses his EPOS system to track sales, but some categories aren’t performing as well as he would like and he would like to grow his average basket spend. Can a more experimental approach be the solution?

Steve says: “Looking at Bhavesh’s ketchup range for example, there are eight lines but how many are selling? In soup some lines are triple faced, would losing a facing decrease sales? Experiment, measure the results and be ruthless in delisting lines that don’t perform. Facebook polls can be used to identify new product or category demands to utilise the newly made space.”

Action: Review ranging, facings and prices on a few lines, measure the impact and use the findings to improve your offer.

Partner advice


Steve O’Neill, Group Marketing Director, PayPoint

“There are interesting local challenges and competition which are impacting Bhavesh’s categories. Today we’ve discussed using free digital tools to get closer to his shoppers, and they will really help him carve his own space in the market.



Create your own shop report

Call us on 020 7689 0500 to see how you can take part in a future visit. Visit /iaa/benchmark-your-store to create your own shop report.

To find out how Bhavesh got on since this visit and the results they’ve seen, click here.