PDI and GasBuddy Release ‘Tracking Convenience Report’

The report offers insights on consumer behavior at the pump and in-store.

May 22, 2024

PDI Technologies and GasBuddy’s newly released report, “Tracking Convenience Report: From the Pump to the C-Store," analyzed the latest fuel and convenience retail trends, bringing insights on consumer behavior to retailers.

The report detailed how “evolving consumer behavior in-store and at the pump impacts the convenience ecosystem, including data on year-over-year trends for in-store category sales and affinities that help drive pump-to-store conversion.”

Key findings from the report include:

  • Retailers pivot to foodservice. In 2023, many retailers prioritized foodservice and dispensed drinks, mitigating some of the lower growth rates in the largest traditional in-store sales categories.
  • Falling gas prices bring good news. Lower fuel costs year-over-year helped contribute to an overall recovery in trips and greater predictability about what c-store operators could expect across dayparts.
  • New products make a big splash. A product spotlight on a major energy brand’s product launch reveals how new products can help brands rekindle relationships with loyal customers and attract new ones.

“In-store trips over the last year reflect the dynamics of consumers who continue to spend at high rates and others who are more acutely feeling inflation impacts,” said Greg Crow, vice president of insights at PDI. “It remains critically important to purposefully engage consumers who might not typically make it inside the store. Understanding the connection between fuel prices and in-store shopping habits can help both retailers and brands build customer loyalty and drive sales growth.”

The lower gas prices helped with getting customers to stores in what Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, said is a “win-win” for both consumers and retailers. “For households feeling the pinch of inflation, paying less at the pump provides some much-needed financial breathing room. For retailers, lower gas prices mean more customers are likely to hit the road and make an extra trip to their stores. With fuel costs less of a deterrent, there's more opportunity to entice drivers to come inside and make additional purchases while they’re filling up,” he said.

For more, read the report in full here.