Safety First

Most people would agree that putting safety first is important and that certainly extends to convenience retailing. The challenge is to clearly communicate this to customers without making them feel uncomfortable.  This requires taking some subtle, and for the most part simple, steps to communicate that “you will feel safe and comfortable here.”

Why is this fairly obvious point worth talking about? Research conducted for the NACS/CCRRC found that some convenience customers would benefit from being reassured and the newest Council report “Shopping Forward:  Benefit of Emphasizing Safety at Your Store” http://bit.ly/EmphasizingSafetyReport, defined a “hierarchy of customer needs: with the foundation being the need for safety

This work highlights that if retailers are to connect successfully with shoppers on the higher levels of need, the foundation must be solidly in place.  The good news is that there are actions that retailers can take that will help this happen.

  • Some of these actions are obvious like providing adequate lighting on the lot and removing any signs that telegram safety issues
  • Others are more subtle, like removing window signs and even dropping the profile of displays that may make it difficult to see into the store and/or providing two-way communication at the pump that helps store personnel stay aware of any issues.

This report documents that both customers and staff appreciated the subtle changes that made people feel safer and more secure and there were strong signs, if not absolute proof, that increased emphasis on customer safety and security positively impacts the P&L.

This is all documented in the newest NACS/Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council report.  It provides solid evidence of the value of making customers feel safe and secure in subtle, but important ways.

Bill Bishop
Research Director
NACS/Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council
Founder, Willard Bishop Consulting and Chief Architect ClickMeetsBrick http://www.brickmeetsclick.com

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