Top 10 Most Profitable Products to Sell at a Convenience Store

January 28, 2020 Blog 0
most popular convenience store items and products

Deciding what to sell in a convenience store can be overwhelming. People pop into convenience stores to grab things they need - whether they’re on a long road trip or just on their way home from work.

According to Jeff Lenard, VP of strategic industry initiatives at the National Association of Convenience Stores, the average time spent in some convenience stores is less than 4 minutes and 83% of the items bought are consumed within the hour and 65% are consumed immediately.

If you need help deciding what to sell in your convenience store, here are some ideas.

What to Sell in a Convenience Store

Convenience store products are, well, convenient. Customers are looking to pop in and pop out with what they need as fast as possible, whether they’re local or just passing through.

Convenience stores fill the gap when there are no grocery stores at a convenience distance or when driving to the grocery store is too much of an ordeal. Some of the most profitable items to sell at a convenience store align perfectly with this need. Many visitors are thirsty, hungry, or in need of something quickly.

10 Most Popular Convenience Store Items

These convenience store products are among the most popular and could be valuable assets to your store’s inventory.

10. Ice Cream and Dairy Products

Dairy products such as ice cream and milk are popular choices for customers to easily grab at a convenience store instead of walking twice as much to get them at their normal grocery store. Milk, yogurt, and cheese are frequently purchased items that customers will always come back for.

9. Toiletries

Convenience stores with full ranges of toiletries such as shampoo, toothpaste, tissues, diapers (and much more) make it more appealing for customers with last-minute needs. Drugstore cosmetics are also extremely popular. The combination of cost and convenience make them an irresistible deal.

8. Hot Food

Many hungry customers who breeze through convenience stores are on a time crunch or taking a break during a long-distance trip. Either way, they’re looking for something quick and easy to eat. Foods like hot dogs, nachos, and breakfast sandwiches are a great option to offer these visitors.

7. Over-the-Counter Medication

Generally, convenience stores are open longer or earlier than larger grocery stores. If you’ve come down with some ailment late at night or on the road, it’s a no-brainer for you to get some over-the-counter medicine at the nearest convenience store.

6. Packaged Snacks and Candy

Another popular product category for travelers are packaged snacks such as candy, chips, and nuts. These options are especially necessary for road trippers and those who need a little sustenance to get where they’re going.

5. Gas and Automotive Supplies

Many convenience stores are attached to a gas station, adding to the ease of stopping your car for gas. If your store is frequented by drivers as a road trip stop, you might want to consider stocking accessories and tools such as wrenches, tire patch kits, lubricants, antifreeze, etc.

4. Non-Alcoholic Beverages

Bottled water, soda, coffee, and energy drinks are extremely popular products at convenience stores and very profitable. Fountain drinks and slushies are also very lucrative due to their low cost. According to Lenard, over 40% of profit dollars are due to these liquids.

3. Lottery Tickets

People count on convenience stores and gas stations to be places they can purchase lottery tickets. Lottery tickets are one of the most strategic products you could sell in a convenience store. Selling lottery tickets as a retailer can be a very profitable move in several ways.

Playport™ can assist your business by connecting customers with your store. After players purchase instant win game plays via QR code at your store, they can play whenever they want from the convenience of their phone. Winners can cash out at your store and often buy more of your products with their winnings.

Our platform allows you to send promotional updates straight to the phones of your lotto customers. Playport™ enables any POS system to sell games, and is a white label platform so you can build brand loyalty.

Take a look at our blog post on how to become a lottery retailer today, and be sure to ask your state’s lottery agency about Playport™!

2. Beer and Wine

Alcoholic beverages such as beer and wine are one of the most popular and profitable products found in a convenience store. If someone is strapped for time, they’d rather grab a case of beer at their local gas station than trek to the liquor store.

1. Tobacco Products

Tobacco products come in all kinds of forms these days - cigarettes, cigarillos, e-cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and more. Usually found behind the cashier, it is very easy for convenience stores to sell tobacco products.

Convenience Store Marketing Strategy

Now that we’ve gone through what the most popular products in a convenience store are, how do convenience stores make money? What are some ways to get customers to come in and purchase these items?

Many items that customers can depend on a convenience store to have (such as food staples, drinks, lottery tickets, and tobacco products) draw them into the store, but much of the profit a convenience store sees is from impulse buys. Your convenience store marketing should be crafted around this rule while giving special attention to the most profitable convenience store items.

How to Set Up a Convenience Store

The ideal convenience store layout is logical; you want people to instinctively know where the drinks are, where the medication is, and have them deeper into the store so they walk past all your products and shelves. Then, when they are checking out, you want the smaller impulse buys to be right in front of them, such as candy, gum, lottery tickets, etc.

Interested in Maximizing Your Convenience Store’s Profits?

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