Convenience stores have always been, well, a convenient option for shoppers and commuters alike. From their food and drink options, accessible locations and, where applicable, available gas pumps, c-stores are a go-to for many who are on-the-go. As new innovations are being explored in other areas of the commercial food industry, convenience stores are also adapting to the ever-changing landscape. One such area is with delivery, which has exploded within the last year, and c-stores are adopting new delivery methods to cater to their clientele.
If offering delivery is a new area for your convenience store, below are some ideas on how to incorporate delivery options to help keep your business booming.
Set Up In-House Digital and Mobile Order Delivery Applications
Having an online and/or mobile ordering option is an easily accessible avenue for your customers to take when they want to have an order delivered. This option allows you to keep everything in-house and managed onsite—including delivery staff. Keeping your delivery service within your business gives you the chance to be a bit more flexible while also having greater quality control over the delivery services and methods you provide.
Having an in-house online or mobile ordering service not only streamlines the process on your end, but is great for quality control. Since many c-stores are offering fresh, made-in-house food items, having a delivery option lets a customer put in an order for a pizza and wings; not only that, but they may also put in a movie night snack order, or add a six-pack to their cart to enjoy during the weekend. Making the option of having tonight’s meal delivered along with the upcoming week’s food supply all in one go is convenience on another level.
Partner with a Third-Party Delivery Service
Like many restaurants and other commercial foodservice businesses, partnering with a third-party delivery service can not only expand your reach but also offer an easy way to get your goods delivered. Third-party services like Grubhub, Instacart, DoorDash, UberEats have seen increased usage in the last year, and allow for greater visibility to a larger pool of customers. According to an NACS report, 1/3 of c-stores utilize a proprietary app for orders, and it’s no mystery as to why: these services allow you to share your menu and product catalog online and utilize their drivers to fulfill orders for a fee, which can help streamline the entire delivery process for your business.
On top of that, many convenience stores use multiple third-party delivery services. Utilizing this tactic can expand your reach to multiple areas and users who prefer one delivery service over another. This provides a great way to market your goods and services to a larger target demographic that can potentially expand your customer base.
Utilize Curbside and Pump Order Pickup as Delivery Options
While not necessarily a delivery option, curbside order pickup is still a key service to add. If not already offered, having curbside pickup as an option is a great method to adopt for commuters who are doing a quick pickup on their way to and from work. Additionally, with social distancing measures still in place, curbside pickup is one of the safest options that allow your customers and staff to keep their distance.
To do so, designate areas in your parking lot for customers to receive their orders curbside, or if your convenience store has a gas station, allow you customers to choose a pump-side delivery option as they fill up.
To get your convenience store delivery-ready, take a look at our cleaning checklist for tips on keeping it safe and sanitary.