Study identifies five compelling new platforms that can drive convenience retail growth.
Convenience retailers seeking a profitable path to the future now have five compelling growth platforms to explore, following recommendations offered in the final section of a new NACS /Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council (NACS / CCRRC) study posted on www.ccrrc.org.
“C-Growth: Using Shopper Research to Grow C-Store Sales” provides insights into what motivates shoppers to spend more money in convenience stores.
“Competition from other channels and today’s on-the-go lifestyle present challenges—and opportunities—for retailers,” said Bill Bishop, research director, NACS / CCRRC. Each of the ideas presented in the report addresses an element of control, reward and/or escape related to the shopping experience. “By engaging shoppers in new ways,” said Bishop, “retailers have the potential to reinvent the reasons people make purchases at their outlets.”
The five growth platforms addressed in the latest report include:
1. My Time
Shoppers seek stores where it’s easy to take their time and browse. They don’t want to feel rushed, but once they’ve made their selections, they want to check out and depart quickly. Store layout and service suggestions are offered to address this shopper’s needs.
2. Fresh Value Fast
Although busy, shoppers want to feel as if they are taking care of themselves and not forced to sacrifice food quality. They desire fresh, made-to-order items, with toppings they personally select. Such needs present opportunities to compete for immediate consumption business. The report reveals specific recommendations about how to compete in this sector.
3. Female Friendly
Above all, women want a place that feels comfortable and safe with professional staff who don’t infringe on their personal space. They also are motivated by the reward of having a break in their day—time to look at magazines or enjoy a cup of coffee. Convenience retailers interested in exploring this opportunity, which competes for women’s time, can learn how to create an enticing environment that appeals to these shoppers.
4. Family Time
Convenience stores can more effectively compete with ice cream or yogurt shops by offering affordable treats the whole family can enjoy, plus a clean, safe environment that offers a relaxing space in which people can connect. The c-store report provides more details about the value proposition and emotional rewards parents seek from such outings.
5. My Place
C-stores can turn up the heat with one of their primary targets—blue collar males—by creating a place where these shoppers feel welcome, can have a decent cup of coffee and connect with friends. The report indicates that service, seating and a cup of Joe are the primary components that address this shopper’s needs.
“This report helps advance the convenience retail industry by providing contemporary growth platforms based on proprietary insights into shopper behavior and the role of convenience in their everyday lives,” said John Essegian, executive vice president, TNS Landis, which conducted the research related to the report. “Now c-stores have a resource that encourages owners and operators to act in fresh ways to meet competitive challenges and distinguish themselves with meaningful new approaches to business.”
“The insights and understandings we gained from the study’s findings give us direction about where we can most productively focus our attention,” said Bishop. In the next phase of its work, the Council will embark on an effort to put this information into a broader context by examining how convenience shopping fits in with other shopping occasions and then sharpen the definition of the top priority growth platforms.
Convenience retailers can download the report at www.ccrrc.org (click on the NACS / CCRRC link). Interested parties are invited to engage in discussion about this topic by joining the NACS / CCRRC LinkedIn group or follow the Council on Twitter @NACSCCRRC. In addition, Bishop blogs about the report at http://ccrrc.wordpress.com.