ALEXANDRIA, Va. – On this week’s episode of Convenience Matters, “Become a Stellar Road Trip Destination,” NACS hosts Jeff Lenard and Carolyn Schnare talk with Frank Beard, c-store analyst and evangelist at GasBuddy, and Al Hebert, writer/producer of the Gas Station Gourmet, about the lessons learned during their trip to the 2018 NACS Show in Las Vegas. The podcast was taped on October 10 in front of live audience at the Show.
All along their 2,500 mile road trip, Beard and Hebert stopped at convenience stores to fuel up.
On the podcast, they share their tips for standing out among the competition. “It really comes down to the overall customer experience,” Beard says. “Customers have choices. They don’t have to go to dirty, boring or unexceptional. Places that consistently succeed at a high-quality customer service experience are well-positioned to win.”
Hebert notes that stores don’t have to be “glitzy” to attract loyal followings if they have “good product and good people. … Think outside the box and think about what your market needs.”
Beard adds that it’s important for retailers to have a carefully curated merchandising mix. “A lot of retailers in this market have largely undifferentiated products that are largely interchangeable with the guy across the road. … We saw a lot of stations on this road trip that are absolute destinations and you can tell in the packaged goods that they’ve really put a lot of thought into who is their customer and what specifically do they want.”
Each week a new Convenience Matters episode is released. The podcast can be downloaded on iTunes, Google Play and other podcast apps, and at www.conveniencematters.com. Episodes have been downloaded by listeners more than 60,000 times in 80 countries.