C-Store Store Trends During COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions

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C-Store Store Trends Covid

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to influence our lives, a critical area of focus is how the c-store store industry is managing during a highly unpredictable and constantly changing business landscape. There is a great deal of confusion surrounding the operational, financial, and customer service impacts of the pandemic, making it difficult to discern the best steps forward and prepare for the future. Here, we provide some frequently asked questions around c-store store trends during COVID and answers to better equip franchisors with information and intelligence that can guide actions and decisions.

Question 1: What has been the overall impact of the pandemic on the c-store store industry?

The c-store store industry has been heavily affected by the pandemic, with a number of locations having to shut their doors due to the virus’s disruptions, particularly those located in densely populated areas. Revenues and profits have suffered for many businesses, and overall consumer spending patterns have shifted: sales decreased during the peak of the pandemic, but a rebound has been seen in subsequent months. Other trends include a shift to convenience stores offering online and delivery services, a focus on health and safety by providing PPE, and a growing consumer demand for healthier snacks and beverages.

Question 2: How can local food trends guide c-store store expansion?

Understanding trends at the local level is crucial when it comes to making decisions around c-store store expansion. Foodservice market intelligence can provide insights into key local food preferences and cuisines, giving franchisors a better understanding of consumer appetites and what attracts and appeals to certain areas and demographic groups. Rich and detailed insights can help guide decisions and provide a clear picture of the local food culture and offerings.

Question 3: What sales prospecting technologies are available to c-store store operators?

Sales prospecting technologies can make a big difference when it comes to c-store store operations. Technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) can help analyze large amounts of data quickly, optimize sales funnel activities, and recommend better strategies for engagement with potential customers. Other technologies such as voice command, drones for delivery, and augmented reality can also help franchisees reach out to potential customers in creative and engaging ways.

Question 4: What marketing strategies are effective for targeting the foodservice market?

Using market intelligence to better identify opportunities in the foodservice market, franchisors can develop engaging and effective marketing tactics to attract and convert customers. An effective mix of digital marketing channels such as email, social media, and SEO can be used to reach out to potential customers, and product ads can be tailored to local tastes and preferences to increase appeal. Additionally, offering incentives such as discounts and loyalty programs can generate further engagement.

Question 5: How can c-store store owners find and expand into new kitchens?

With so many variables involved in finding, setting up, and running a new kitchen, having comprehensive market intelligence can be invaluable to c-store store owners. Detailed insights are available regarding local demographics, competitors, potential customers, and expansion opportunities, allowing owners to research potential locations, understand the local market, and develop new recipes. Additionally, they can use this data to increase efficiency and reduce expenses.

The c-store store industry faces many challenges as the pandemic continues, but by equipping franchisors with the right resources and intelligence, they can make informed decisions to ensure long-term success. Data-driven insights can help guide actions and decisions and operations, finance, sales, marketing, and more, making it easier to build a path to recovery and remain resilient.