Typically, turning a profit from lottery sales is a safe bet for convenience stores. Industry research shows that about half of all U.S. lottery tickets are sold at convenience stores, and about 95 percent of lottery ticket buyers will purchase at least one add-on item. In addition to revenue from sales and commissions, states pay out up to one percent of jackpot winnings to stores that sell winning tickets.
While some profit from lottery sales is a given, convenience store managers must take an active role in the process in order to see big gains from their lottery program. Here are a few tips to become a winner with lottery sales.
Follow the rules to sell tickets legally. Lottery tickets are age-restricted and regulated by state lottery rules. As with any other compliance issue, convenience store employee training is key to making sure you keep your program above board. Lottery sales must be part of your compliance training program and include these topics at a minimum:
- Checking ID to ensure sales are only made to customers who are 18 years and older.
- Understanding the rules specific to your state, including what forms of payment can be accepted for lottery sales and when or if employees are allowed to purchase tickets.
- Using your lottery-selling system to sell tickets.
- Validating winning tickets for payouts.
Capitalize on lottery sales. Lottery sales can be an impulse purchase made by customers who come into your store for something else. Others may come in specifically for lottery tickets. Either way, your staff must be trained to make the most out of lottery sales. They can do this by:
- Recommending lottery sales to every customer. Just like for your customers, the more tickets you sell, the greater your odds of winning!
- Recommending other products to customers who buy only lottery tickets. Add-on sales are critical to the overall profitability of a lottery program.
- Staying focused on customer service. Whether a customer is there for a ticket or not, they’re definitely there for convenience. Exceed customer expectations for every visit, no matter what the sale.
Manage lottery sales in your store. While in some cases lottery tickets almost sell themselves, the way your lottery program is managed will have an impact on its profitability. Don’t let your lottery program run on auto-pilot by:
- Planning for increased traffic. When jackpots grow, so does demand for tickets. Some stores setup a special station just for lottery buyers so other customers aren’t delayed by lottery sales.
- Merchandising effectively. To sell more tickets, appeal to the impulsivity angle of the purchase. Make sure the appeal of different scratch tickets is obvious, and when you have winners, celebrate them! Although these are games of chance, you can make it seem like your store sells winners by the way promote your lottery program.
- Staying aware of your competition. More retailers are getting into the lottery game, giving customers more options on where to buy tickets. Cater to your lottery customers by offering a place to easily scratch off tickets or even free water or coffee for customers who want to stay in your store to play their cards. Be sure to keep all areas clean and disinfected.
Convenience Store Compliance Training
Convenience stores and their employees must comply with many laws and guidelines. Compliance training, including lottery sales compliance, is part of our Early Success convenience store training program. Click here to learn more.