When consumers stop at convenience stores, they’re usually stopping to fill up their tanks with gasoline, to pick up a snack or drink or to pick up household essentials, such as medicines, paper products, cleaning supplies or ice. Whether they’re stocking up in preparation for a party, refilling the cooler after a long hot day or just picking up a bag for the family to use, consumers know they can find ice at convenience stores. However, there are a few issues that are preventing retailers from earning more selling ice—the need for onsite staff to ring up customers; “shrinkflation”—smaller bags of ice being sold at the same price as the older, bigger bags; and running out of product during high-traffic times. Thankfully, there’s a solution that can mitigate all of these issues—while boosting incremental sales and profits and ensuring customer satisfaction remains high.
Minimize labor, maximize sales
One of the biggest issues c-stores may see when it comes to boosting sales is being bound by the hours the physical store is open. This may seem obvious—that stores can only make sales during open hours—but using outdoor ice machines instead of a cooler and a cash register can eliminate this issue. With Everest Ice and Water Systems, retailers can set up an ice vending machine outside the store, and because the vending machine accepts payment, there’s no need to keep the store open or have cashiers onsite. In short, retailers can sell ice at any time of day or night, without needing to have employees at the store. This boost sales while minimizing labor costs—a win-win situation.
Many consumers are familiar with the concept of “shrinkflation”—that is, the decrease in package size being sold for the same price it was when it was sold in a larger package. For instance, many “pints” of ice cream nowadays are a few ounces less than a standard pint, yet sold for the same cost they were when they were a full pint. The same can be said for bags of ice—as the bag size has decreased, the price has remained the same, frustrating some shoppers. With a dedicated ice vending machine, however, retailers are in charge of pricing and are not dependent on supply chain or distributors—this leads to being able to sell ice at a 90% profit on each bag sold, all while ensuring consumers are satisfied with their ice purchase.
Keep up with demand and encourage repeat visits
According to Technomic’s October 2023 C-Store Operator Market Brief, 83% of c-store retailers are concerned or very concerned with the ability to increase in-store traffic. By adding an ice and water vending machine, though, retailers can boost repeat visits and ensure customer satisfaction with ice purchases—and because retailers aren’t beholden to a supply chain, they don’t have to worry about running out of stock or maintaining a certain inventory. Ice is delivered to customers on demand, and fresh water is available as well. The machine is low maintenance and requires no employee intervention, so customers can purchase ice with ease whenever they need it, even if the store is closed.
As retailers continue to seek ways to boost traffic and revenue, ice and water vending machines from Everest Ice and Water Systems are a perfect solution. The machine requires no employees and can be used even when the store is closed, encouraging customers to stop by outside store hours for all of their ice and water needs. To learn more, click here.
This post is sponsored by Everest Ice and Water Systems