Along with providing a friendly face and happy environment for your customers, ensure that the basic daily products such as newspapers, milk and bread are always in the same part of the store.

People like to know what to expect when they visit you – it gives them comfort, and studies show this drives sales. I call this the McDonalds effect. No matter where you go in the world, McDonalds is the same, it sells the same food, it is always clean, they always have a clean useable toilet and it is good value for money. It is a key point of their success: sameness.

Why do you think millions of tourists choose McDonalds over other establishments? It’s not the price or the food, it is the comfort factor of knowing what to expect.

You can mimic McDonalds’ success by providing your customers with an experience they can expect every time they visit you. Some of the things that help you do this are:

  • Always be cheerful
  • Wear uniforms
  • Keep the store clean and uncluttered
  • Keep the basics in the same part of the store
  • Keep the outside of your store clean and tidy
  • Give the customer the same experience every time they visit

Customers will always choose you over a competitor if they feel comfortable and appreciated.

Where possible, refer to people by their first name – it shows you pay attention and that they are important to you. I would certainly prefer to walk into a shop with the greeting “Good morning, Peter” as opposed to just “Good morning”.

This post is an extract from the e-book ‘So, you want to run a convenience store?’ by Peter Lamb. It is available for free download here.