Total Commerce in the Convenience World

Integrate merchandising with existing and emerging technology to attract shoppers

Convenience, like the rest of the retail industry, is rapidly changing to adapt to new technology and merchandising strategies in the digital age. Against the backdrop of this dynamic marketplace, The Hershey Company works with its retail partners to identify new merchandising and commerce opportunities that will position the company for success. The Hershey Company calls it the “total commerce” approach to retail. A shopper that’s engaged in a retailer’s total ecosystem—online, offline and mobile—is six times more valuable overall.

store aisle

Total commerce holds opportunities for convenience, where integrating merchandising with existing and emerging technology will attract shoppers, build customer loyalty and drive incremental sales. The Hershey Company brings these possibilities to life with its retail partners through in-store activations and tests.

Wayfinding signage

The candy aisle—historically one of the hardest aisles to shop—is undergoing a major transformation, even at the convenience level. Wayfinding signage incorporated into floor design can assist shoppers in finding highly-sought candy and snacking items.

Aisle reinvention tests in stores have generated double digit category growth, and wayfinding signage has been shown to grow sales 1-2% compared to no signage.

Merchandise where shoppers dwell

Forty-seven percent of purchases in c-stores are unplanned, and placing high-volume items like candy and snacks front and center where shoppers dwell is a proven merchandising strategy for driving spontaneous purchase.

Retailers might consider cross-merchandising candy and snacks near high-affinity trip drivers, like fountain drinks. Fifty-seven percent of the time, candy is purchased with a beverage, which means there’s an opportunity for pairing merchandising. Merchandising candy at or around the fountain drink dispenser, cold vault or coffee station is an effective basket builder.

Next, convenience retailers should examine the front of their store, where shoppers spend 17% of their time and where about 23% of total candy and snack sales originate. This area can be optimized for spontaneous purchase via queuing and under-counter units, which can see an average of 10-12% lift in category sales.

Queuing has proven to be a very effective way for retailers to drive incremental sales at the front of the store. Not only does queuing allow the shopper to continue to shop and build their basket as they progress toward check out, but also, research shows an active queue line design can generate a 46% increase in conversion at pay point.

Digital technology

Digital technology like retailer apps, banner ads and rich media ads may be employed to connect with consumers in meaningful and measurable ways, while in-store technology at the register can deliver special offers in real time based on customers’ purchases. In fact, The Hershey Company delivered a sales lift of more than 20% using in-store technology at the register to deliver personalized offers. 

Iconic brands such as Reese’s, Hershey’s and Kit Kat already bring tremendous appeal to the c-store planogram. By leveraging the power of digital technology with customer data and using that information to intersect with the shopper in real time, The Hershey Company is helping its retail partners create impressions, build awareness, drive traffic to stores and, perhaps most importantly, deliver sales.

Discover more strategies for total retail solutions by downloading The Hershey Company’s 2018 retail report at

This post is sponsored by The Hershey Company

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