Convenience store retailers have two challenges: meeting consumer needs and satisfying employee expectations.
Consumers have a myriad of venue choices for quick purchases that power them through their day or give them a chance to pause and refresh. As a result, c-store retailers are elevating the in-store experience on several fronts to satisfy the varied needs of today’s consumer. They are reconfiguring store layouts, updating decor and design and streamlining transactions with efficiency in mind. As foodservice grows in importance, many operators are also adding “stay awhile” amenities such as seating, free Wi-Fi and prepared foods.
The battle is on, and not just for customer traffic, but also for skilled and engaged employees. Employees not only want a well-paying job, but also a workplace that is friendly and supportive. The ongoing labor squeeze is adding a new set of challenges for c-stores to recruit, train and retain top talent.
However, an untapped opportunity exists that c-stores can capitalize on to create greater separation from other competitive channels to both customers and employees. That untapped opportunity is television entertainment.
With all this in mind, the question is this: What added value can TVs provide to c-stores to meet customer needs and employee expectations?
TVs boost foodservice sales
Although TVs are not yet widely available in c-stores, retailers recognize the benefit of the technology, especially in common customer areas of the store. Among retailers who currently have TVs, 58% say they create a welcoming environment for customers, and 52% say they encourage customers to stay longer and spend more, according to a custom survey conducted by Technomic in partnership with DIRECTV National Accounts.
TVs can also be powerful marketing tools for driving suggestive selling of new products, daily specials or rotating sales. Instead of printing and hanging new signs every couple of days or weeks, TVs can be used to announce sales, special offers, discounts and prepared food menu items, which can encourage more customer purchases.
Televisions improve employee perception and retention
TVs help attract, recruit and retain store employees. Technomic’s survey indicated that 55% of potential employees said they’d be slightly or much more likely to seek employment at a c-store that offered TVs in the customer area, and 56% of potential employees said they’d be slightly or much more likely to seek employment at a c-store that offered TVs in the break room or employee area.
As televisions provide entertainment, there might be some concerns that TVs would cause distraction among employees and decrease productivity. However, c-stores may reap the benefits of a properly trained, satisfied employee who enjoys their work environment and is able to converse with customers about the latest news, weather or sports. This friendly rapport can result in more satisfied customers, whether they’re in and out quickly or taking a respite from their busy day, as the televisions provide entertainment and a point of connection.
Television can aide in employee training
Employee training usually follows a rigid path of classroom-based sessions or hefty printed manuals, which, all too often, result in inattentive and unengaged trainees. In today’s technology-driven culture, employee training requires a rethink of the entire process. This is where TVs can play a pivotal role. TVs can be utilized for business-building initiatives such as employee training, which can improve selling skills, productivity and customer service.
For c-store retailers, the benefits of having televisions in the store are multifold. Employees may be more likely to take the job in the first place and are more engaged in training sessions that employ TVs instead of manuals. Plus, they’re more satisfied with the work environment once they’re on the floor. From a customer standpoint, televisions provide common ground between the shopper and the staff, plus they can be used to promote deals and specials, which can encourage more frequent purchases and bigger basket averages. When it comes to deciding whether to install TVs in c-stores, the answer is an easy one.
This post is sponsored by DIRECTV for BUSINESS℠