Grocery stores are critical, providing everyone with food and other daily essentials. From fresh fruits and vegetables to bread and frozen foods, grocery stores carry a wide range of food and supplies. They also employ many people.
Grocery store owners and managers work hard to keep shelves stocked and customers happy. But the average grocery store revenue is relatively low due to their slim profit margins. The stores rely on shopping volumes to generate income, but sometimes local stores might fall short of their monetary goals.
You can try many strategies to raise your grocery store earnings. Here are some tips on how to increase grocery store revenue.
Read the full article or jump to a specific section:
- Challenges to Increasing Your Sales
- 6 Tips for Increasing Grocery Store Revenue
- How Curbside Pickup Can Increase Your Revenue
- How Does Curbside Pickup Work?
- Benefits of Curbside Pickup Structures for Grocery Stores
- Get a Quote Today From USA Shade
Challenges to Increasing Your Sales
Most grocery stores purchase food in bulk from companies and vendors to stock their shelves. And to generate revenue, stores rely on customers buying many food items at one time. In other words, the more items a customer buys at one time, the more money the store makes.
But in recent years, many external factors have negatively impacted grocery store sales. From a global pandemic to increased unemployment, some crises have affected global grocery store revenue.
Here are some challenges from recent years that made increasing grocery store revenue harder:
COVID-19 pandemic: As with many other global industries, the grocery industry faces difficulties because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most people stopped visiting stores as often in fear of virus exposure. Many stores also found it more challenging to retain employees due to the increased demand for workers in the industry. The lack of workers made it harder to run stores at total efficiency.
Supply chain issues: Another significant issue for grocery stores is the recent supply chain issues. Slowed shipments make it a challenge to keep shelves stocked. And without enough products to sell, stores lose revenue. The supply chain stalls also make products rise in price, keeping customers from buying as many items as usual.
Digital sales: The rise of digital markets also lowers the regular number of in-store shoppers. Customers can order online from various vendors and get products delivered right to them, rather than making a trip to the store. This trend makes it harder for grocery stores to attract more in-store customers.
Luckily, grocery stores have many ways to increase their revenue despite these challenges. By staying creative and putting customer needs first, you can make positive changes to raise your earnings in no time.
6 Tips for Increasing Grocery Store Revenue
Every grocery store is different and uses different strategies to keep customers happy and earnings high. Here are six ways that might help raise your store’s revenue.
1. Make Stronger Customer Connections
The most successful grocery stores usually put the customer first. By placing your customers at the forefront of everything, you can create an enjoyable shopping experience. And the better experience your customers have, the more likely they are to return and buy more. When customers feel valued, they’re more likely to choose your store over competitors in the future.
These are examples of ways you can increase your customer connections:
Offer help: Make sure to offer assistance to your customers whenever they might need it. Whether it’s extra explanatory signs or friendly employees willing to answer questions, provide aid for customers. Try to create an atmosphere where questions are encouraged and customers feel welcome.
Emphasize customer connections to your employees: Another way to increase customer connections is by training your employees for it. During training, be sure to emphasize the importance of communication with customers and how to create a friendly mood for your store. This way, your employees can put customer connections first as well.
Put yourself in their shoes: Lastly, you can improve your relationships with your customers by practicing empathy. Think about what an average customer at your store would want out of a shopping experience, and use that to guide your advertising strategies.
Overall, when you create a stronger bond with your customers, they become more likely to return. And the more customers you have, the more your revenue increases.
2. Offer a Variety of Products
Another way to increase your grocery store earnings is by expanding your product selection. Many stores only carry one or two types of a particular product, limiting customer options. By adding more product types, you appeal to a wider range of customers and could increase revenue.
Here are some product types you can consider adding:
- Vegetarian and vegan options: If your store doesn’t carry them already, think about including vegan and vegetarian options in your store. Providing vegetarian meats and other vegan ingredients will make every customer feel welcome, no matter their diet. And your inclusion of these products might encourage new customers to visit your store as well.
- Other choices for restricted diets: In addition to vegan and vegetarian options, try to include food that caters to other diets. For instance, offering gluten-free foods would represent this diet and give customers a complete selection.
- Cost-effective prices: Lastly, you can try implementing multiple brands for various products that vary in price. If you only carry one type of product and it’s not cost-effective for customers, it might not sell well. If you offer more brand types and various prices, customers can choose the one that fits their budget best instead of not buying at all.
Help your employees understand the different product types so they can help customers choose between similar types of the same item while building rapport.
3. Provide Bundling Offers
One of the most innovative selling strategies is bundling. With bundles, you can combine multiple products into a single unit, typically at a lower price than if customers bought each item separately. The bundles could be several packs of the same product or a combination of related items. For example, you could bundle a few cleaning products together or packs of shampoo and conditioner.
Bundling is a fantastic way to sell your inventory and convince more customers to make purchases. And, when you group products together, customers buy more than one unit at once. Over time, this will increase your average order value and increase revenue.
Here are some examples of bundling types you can include:
- Mix and match bundles: In this style, you let customers build their own bundle by designating participating products. Customers can pick a few items for their bundle and get all of them at an overall lower price. This option makes the customer feel in control of their purchase and increases their chances of participating.
- New product bundles: New product bundles can introduce new items to customers. In this type, you bundle an existing product with a newer version of the product. Customers can enjoy their usual favorite while also trying a more recent option. It’s a clever way to sell a new product and potentially convince customers to buy more of it.
- Gifting bundles: These bundles are common during holidays. You can gather together similar gift items and encourage customers to give them as presents to family or friends.
4. Increase Your Efficiency at Check-Out
It’s in a grocery store’s best interest to increase efficiency. Long check-out lines or a lack of carts could make customers turn away and not return. Strive to give your customers a pleasant and hassle-free experience, and they’ll be more likely to return and increase your overall profits. Customers might also spread the word about their experience and drive more business to you.
You can try these things to increase your store’s efficiency:
- Have enough open lanes: Long lines often create a poor customer experience, so make sure you keep as many lanes open as possible. That way, customers can spread out among lines and decrease their waiting time. Also, train your cashiers and baggers to move swiftly and politely.
- Keep self-checkout lanes open: Many customers prefer to use self-checkout lanes instead of going through a cashier’s line. Be sure to leave as many self-checkouts open as possible to accommodate these preferences. Or, if you don’t have self-checkout stations, consider implementing these in your store. They allow customers to scan their items quickly and on their terms, which is appealing to many.
- Ensure you replenish carts: Nothing’s more frustrating than wanting to stock up with groceries for the week, only to find that your local grocery store has no carts available. Ensure a constant supply of carts and baskets ready for customers to improve their buying experience.
5. Create Deals and Special Offers
Everyone loves finding deals or sales on their regular grocery items. And you can show customers you value their business by offering coupons, discounts or other special offers. The more they return to participate in special sales, the more revenue your store accrues. When you provide many opportunities for sales, customers might be more likely to choose your store in the future.
You could also try:
- Creating a loyalty rewards program: Rewards programs are a great way to keep your customers engaged and frequent visitors. A typical rewards program requires consumers to make a certain amount of purchases. With each buy, they earn points, which add up to a larger reward. Then, once they redeem their reward, the cycle starts again. The prize might be anything from a $5 off coupon to a free item. You can adapt the program to whatever suits your store best.
- Emailing or texting offers: Keep in touch with your customers through text messages and email. You can update them with current sales, special offers or upcoming events. Customers will feel more valued by the communication and more likely to participate in these events.
6. Add More Ways to Shop
Another way to increase your earnings is to add more ways for customers to shop. With all the current digital advancements, there are many ways to alter the shopping experience to your customers’ needs. Customers have many options, including same-day delivery and curbside pickup.
When you provide several shopping styles, customers might choose your store more often. Your yearly revenue can rise if you gain more loyal consumers because they like the variety.
Here are examples of shopping styles to implement:
- Buying online and picking up in-store: With this option, customers can make their orders online, and the store informs the customer how long the order will take. An employee gathers and bags the customer’s desired items so they are ready for the customer to pick up. This style is attractive for patrons who might not have the time for a complete grocery trip but still need a big order of groceries.
- Grocery delivery: You could also try adding a delivery service for your groceries. Many people prefer delivered goods, especially with the increased popularity of online shopping. Customers simply order the products they need, and an employee delivers the items directly. You can also charge additional delivery fees to raise your profits and offset driving costs.
How Curbside Pickup Can Increase Your Revenue
Another way to raise your revenue is with curbside pickup. It consists of customers ordering groceries online, then driving to the store and getting the groceries placed directly into their cars.
Curbside pickup rose in popularity after the COVID-19 pandemic because it reduces interactions with other patrons and employees. It’s also convenient for consumers, saving them the usual time spent shopping.
Because this practice is so appealing, it could increase your grocery store’s revenue. More customers might select your store for shopping if they prefer the curbside pickup method. So, the strategy offers benefits for you and your customers.
How Does Curbside Pickup Work?
Curbside pickup has a simple strategy that is similar to the pickup in-store option. Here are the basic steps for curbside pickup:
- Customers order online: First, your patrons place their grocery orders on your store’s website or app. You can set limits on how many items are allowed in orders or let your customers order as many items as needed. Once they place their order, you provide the estimated time until their groceries are ready. Sometimes the groceries will be prepared in a few hours, while it might be the next day in other cases.
- An employee collects their order: Next, an employee retrieves all the items in the customer’s order. Many stores have mobile devices that employees can use while shopping to mark off items as they go. Employees carefully gather and bag all the items for the purchase. Often, the employee then notifies the customer that their order is ready.
- Consumer drives to the store: Once the customer knows their order is ready or when it is the designated time, they drive to the store. They park in a designated spot and alert the store of their arrival, generally by calling a dedicated phone number or using the app.
- A worker loads the groceries directly into their car: Finally, an employee packs the groceries right into the customer’s car. Once they’re done, the customer drives home with a trunk full of groceries without entering the store.
Overall, the process is quick and straightforward for customers, making it ideal for those with busy schedules.
How Can Curbside Pickup Increase Grocery Store Revenue?
Curbside pickup is also an excellent strategy for raising your overall earnings. As more consumers turn to digital shopping techniques, offering curbside pickup at your store could set you apart from competitors. Providing a high-quality curbside service could attract more customers to your store and increase demand for your assistance. In turn, your revenue will increase.
Here are some other ways curbside pickup can increase grocery store revenue:
- It’s cost-effective: One of the perks of an in-store pickup service is that you don’t have to pay for delivery services. Because customers drive directly to the store, you have no extra transportation or handling costs. It’s the same cost of a typical customer grocery trip, saving you thousands in additional fees.
- It increases efficiency: With more customers choosing the curbside pickup option, you’ll have less traffic to manage in the store. If many customers opt for curbside pickup, your in-store check-out lines will be much shorter. In turn, cashiers will be able to check out customers more smoothly, reducing long lines for in-store customers. And the more efficient your store is, the more likely customers will return and contribute to your earnings.
- It shows you care: If your store keeps up with current customer trends, you show your customers that you value their preferences and concerns. Curbside pickup allows you to create a shopping experience for everyone’s comfort levels. If a customer wants to avoid contact with people due to health concerns, you provide them with an alternative. This level of care is an excellent way to earn loyal customers, which drives your revenue over time.
Benefits of Curbside Pickup Structures for Grocery Stores
One way you can improve your curbside pickup service is with shade structures. These structures are installed by the designated area for curbside pickup, creating a more comfortable experience.
Many different styles of shade structures are available, so you can select the design that works best for your store’s needs. Some stores might prefer a unique design that aligns with their building style, while others might opt for the tallest option so cars of all sizes can fit underneath. Either way, a shade structure or shade sail enhances your store’s curbside shopping offering.
Adding a shade structure for your pickup services is a great upgrade. It gives customers a more satisfying overall experience and could make them return more frequently.
There are other benefits of curbside shade structures, including:
- Reduced temperatures: Grocery orders don’t slow during hot summer months, so you want to keep your employees and customers comfortable. A shade structure keeps employees cool as they load groceries into cars, even during high temperatures. The structure blocks the sun from workers and helps them pack groceries more efficiently for customers.
- Options for customization: You can also use a shade structure to enhance your entire store design. Because they’re so customizable, you could easily select a frame that matches your color scheme or other in-store designs. This addition would create an aesthetically pleasing shopping experience, which might be what you need to attract more customers.
- Protection against UV rays: Lastly, your shade structure will protect incoming customers and employees from exposure to UV rays. You could install the curbside shade structure close to your store’s entrance so every customer walks underneath on their way in. Instead of spending time in the direct sun, your patrons will be under a cover. The structure blocks harmful rays from reaching the skin and makes the entire shopping experience more comfortable.
Get a Quote Today From USA Shade
If you’re looking for a curbside shade structure for your grocery store, USA Shade has many options. For almost three decades, USA Shade has provided high-quality fabric structures for customers across the nation. As a leader in the industry, we offer solutions of the highest standards and creativity. Our extensive catalog provides shade structures for various industries and projects, so you’re sure to find the design that suits you best.