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Marketing Tips & Tricks B2B Inbound Marketing

Increase C-Store Business with a Digital Marketing Strategy

By Michael Carlson

You have a great product that’s perfect for placement in convenience stores, but you’re struggling to make contact with decision-makers who can put your great products on shelves. With 62% of convenience stores (C-stores) being independents who only own 1-10 individual stores, establishing contact and repertoire with those who can shelve your product can be an arduous task. On top of this, even if these owners did want to shelve your products, how would they learn about your products or get in contact with you to begin with? 

To get your products into the hands of most consumers, you need to establish rapport with various independent C-store owners/buyers.



How to Connect with Large Volumes of C-Store Owners & Buyers

Independent convenience stores often feel neglected because they’re not the focus of new product introductions, deals, and information needed to make their stores more successful. Capturing independent C-store opportunities is a struggle for most Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) Manufacturers. Ensuring that these small—but very important stores—have the right mix in their businesses is a challenge, to say the least. But how do you reach them and ensure they have a way to find you? The answer: executing an effective digital marketing strategy.

Having a digital marketing strategy that promotes your brand while giving independent retailers a reason to carry your products or add additional line extensions is imperative to getting your products in the hands of consumers. Letting them know that you have discounts on your brands is even more important in today's world where every penny counts. Gone are the days when brokers and manufacturers would put boots on the ground of every convenience store across the country. This is simply not a cost-effective sales strategy.

By implementing a digital outreach campaign you could reach these decision-makers without having to visit so many convenience stores in-person. When you build a digital platform that communicates with C-store owners personally, you enable these owners to find your business naturally. For example, a  website that allows for automation can engage all single store operators on a wide scale using enticing content that helps serve their business. As these owners seek to improve their stores by putting the best products on their shelves, your website will attract, educate, and delight them while they become sales-qualified leads.



Five Helpful Tips for Growing Your Business in C-Stores

Once you’ve built your digital platform and have a digital marketing strategy in place, take advantage of these must-know steps manufacturers and wholesale distributors can implement to ensure they’re not missing sales opportunities:

  • Step 1: Email promotions to single-store operators using a platform for customer relationship management, or CRM. (We recommend using Hubspot for the best CRM experience.) 

  • Step 2: Include distributor SKU numbers within a sales sheet that promotes your products (You want to make it easy for them to order from your site.)

  • Step 3: Ensure deals are set up with your distributor so that all independent convenience stores can take advantage of them.

  • Step 4: Create an email campaign that moves the convenience store owners through the buying journey. For more information on what the buyer's journey is, read this helpful blog, The Buyer’s Journey: How B2B Customers Find Your Business Naturally

  • Step 5: Engage stores that purchase from you on a regular basis and offer them deals to increase shelf space.



Take the Next Step to Increase C-Store Business Growth

If some of these steps sound new or intimidating to you, don’t fret! It’s common for people, like yourself, to reach out for some help in order to successfully position their products using a digital marketing strategy.

If you’re ready to increase business but need help figuring out how to implement a digital marketing strategy and selecting the right CRM for your business, we’re here to help! At Open Path Digital, we specialize in B2B digital marketing and have helped manufacturers, like you, transition to online sales enablement. To see what this transformation could look like for you, schedule a time to speak with a growth strategist today.


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