ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Core sales dollars are the easiest thing to measure in terms of gauging a store’s success, but it’s only one part of the equation. Other parts include what motivated shoppers to come into a specific store—and what drove them to purchase those items? NACS started Convenience Voices to find the answers to those and other questions about who shops—and who doesn’t—at convenience stores through mobile technology.
“What’s unique about our channel … is our average occasion starts and ends … between three and four minutes,” said Leroy Kelsey, director of research at NACS, on this week’s Convenience Matters podcast, “Convenience Voices: What Shoppers Say.” That presents a challenge to contact shoppers during their time in the store and to get immediate feedback using mobile technology. “So, we have about one-tenth of the amount of time to really get that moment of truth to read from shoppers in terms of how we’re doing in our stores.”
Since the pandemic, there’s been a huge shift in how people are shopping. “Shoppers really shifted in terms of taking short, local trips,” Kelsey said. “We’ve found that our basic occasions that could be classified as quick trips to pick something up have really doubled year over year. Shoppers are staying within their local neighborhoods, which has really benefited our industry with our great locations of being the closest to the community.”
Going forward, Kelsey sees the future of convenience sales coming from high-margin foods. “We’ve also seen a shift in terms of more evening traffic. The morning commuter has always been a shopper segment that we tended to dominate in,” he said. “We’ve seen a shift of more shoppers and essential workers and busy families coming in to stop with us in the evening dayparts. … As shoppers increasingly prioritize convenience, they’re going to look to us … to evolve our offer and really respond in terms of new and innovative ways to connect.”
Listen to the podcast for more about how to recover lost opportunities with shoppers, and check out the NEW episode webpages while you’re there. We’ve added transcripts, related notes and links and guest bios for each new episode to help you get the most out of every show, conveniently.
Each week a new Convenience Matters episode is released. With more than 20 episodes to choose from, the podcast can be heard on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play and other podcast apps and YouTube and at www.conveniencematters.com. Episodes have been downloaded more than 200,000 times by listeners around the world.