October 11, 2017 by IDW

For Beverage Brand Marketers, the changing retail landscape continually presents new challenges. Among these challenges is utilizing each retail channel effectively to reach different demographics of consumers. In this article, we’ll talk about the convenience retail channel, and discuss how Beverage Brand Marketers can help their customers navigate shifting consumption patterns, keeping sales high and consumers interested.

The convenience retail channel is different from both the Mass Retail and General Merchandise Channels in significant ways. Convenience stores are a critical asset in the Beverage Brand Marketer’s portfolio due to their high traffic. Out of the three main channels of operations, convenience stores represent the highest traffic channel for Beverage Brand Marketers. Additionally, convenience stores are at the forefront of changing consumption patterns among today’s consumers. By prioritizing growth in the Convenience Retail Channel, Beverage Brand Marketers are able to increase product and brand exposure among their customers, increase sales, and quickly notice changing trends in consumption patterns.

The strength of the Convenience Retail Channel lies in its fast paced, high volume turnover of customers. Convenience store retailers and managers know that increasing turnover and driving increased traffic into the store capitalizes on the inherent strength of the convenience store. Convenience store customers are looking for a specific type of shopping experience that convenience store managers are attempting to meet. This shopping experience is characterized by speed and accessibility. Convenience store consumers are at the forefront of a shift in consumption patterns that is being seen across nearly all retail channels. Today’s consumers are more likely to prioritize a quick and convenient shopping experience. In our fast-paced world, consumers today have a limited amount of time to get their shopping done. This emphasis on a speedy shopping experience presents unique challenges to Beverage Brand Marketers and their customers.

The speed with which consumers are completing their shopping experience across all retail channels has challenged Beverage Brand Marketers to seize new opportunities to cultivate brand awareness. This is particularly true if a new brand has hit the market and needs promotion and exposure. One of the strengths of the Convenience Retail Channel from the perspective of the Beverage Brand Marketer is that convenience stores represent an ideal platform to conduct brand trials and raise awareness of new brands. Convenience Retail Channels have high traffic rates that allow exposure of new brands to consumers at a much higher rate than other channels. This allows Beverage Brand Marketers to harness the power of consumer traffic and consumption patterns to create innovative ways to conduct brand trials that will accurately showcase the potential success of the brand across other retail channels.

Beverage Brand Marketers must also recognize that consumers from the Convenience Retail Channel are more likely to make single-serving purchases. This emphasis on immediate-consumption goods creates challenges but also presents opportunities. Beverage Brand Marketers must convince the retailer to keep their brand products cold and ready-to-consume. Ideally, beverages will be kept in reach-in coolers that are located in high traffic areas where consumers will be most likely to make an impulse purchase. While this can present a challenge, it is also an opportunity. This is particularly true for brand trials, where consumers are more likely to try a new product if it is in a single serving, in an impulse location, and is cold and ready to consume. These factors make conducting promotions to drive sales easier to conduct for Beverage Brand Marketers. In turn, these promotions help drive the increased sales that their customers desire.

The Convenience Retail Channel is an important part of any Beverage Brand Marketer’s portfolio. By recognizing the strengths of the Convenience Retail Channel, Beverage Brand Marketers can also turn the challenges of operating in this channel into unique opportunities. The Convenience Retail Channel is the ideal place for brand trials or raising awareness on new brands. Consumption patterns within the channel that are primarily single-serving and ready-to-consume allows a space for conducting promotions that encourage consumers to try new products. Lastly, through early recognition of shifting consumption patterns within the fast-paced Convenience Retail Channel, Beverage Brand Marketers are better prepared to help their customers adapt across all retail channels. This will allow their customers to better meet consumers’ needs, providing the shopping experience they desire and encouraging them to repeat their experience.

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