Convenience Chain Discovers That Privacy Can Actually Deliver Profits

In further proof that consumers make very different transactions when they think they’re being observed by other shoppers, one regional convenience store chain is finding sharply increased revenue—and profits—from sandwich sales when orders are placed privately.

Taking things one step beyond the anecdotal evidence that E-Commerce can more easily sell items that are less environmentally friendly than can in-store, one regional convenience store chain has discovered that when consumers make sandwich orders privately at a kiosk (away from prying fellow shopper eyes and ears), they tend to be much more generous with calorically intense (and profit plentiful) add-ons and related sides, including extra meat and cheese. Instead of having customers order the sandwiches at the counter—out loud, to a clerk, in front of everyone—they now do it privately at a kiosk and then take a printout of their order to the cashier, who makes the customized item, bags it and hands it to the customer. This approach is faster for the associate, more private for the consumer and more profitable for the chain. Who said privacy can’t be profitable?