Convenience Tracking Program

What drives consumers to shop in convenience stores? What are they buying ? or not? Do they notice promotions? How can we extract additional sales from shoppers?

NACS launched the Convenience Tracking Program (CTP) in 2009 to help answer these questions and turn the insights into action.

The NACS CTP is based on shopper intercepts conducted on-site at the retail "moment of truth". The program is designed to capture actionable insights based on: customer perception; experiential factors; opportunity gaps and conversion rates for specific categories; category drivers/destination categories; and effective forms of promotion that customers find most engaging. The insights facilitate the development of strategies that increase brand equity and customer loyalty, and ultimately grow sales and gross profit dollars.

Subscribers are using these insights to identify opportunities and gaps in performance, including:

  • How many competitors do my shoppers visit and who are they?
  • What other channels are my customers visiting?
  • What products/services are driving customers to shop convenience stores?
  • How does my product/brand compare?
  • What factors drive shopper frequency?
  • How many of my shoppers belong to convenience loyalty programs?
  • What convenience loyalty programs do my shoppers belong to?
  • Do my customers want an app, drive-thru, or web-based pre-ordering system for food?
  • Do we meet our customer’s expectations?
  • Are there missed purchases that shoppers intended to buy and why?
  • Are our promotions noticed and what kind are most effective?
  • Do our promotions create engagement when noticed?
  • How do we get Fuel Only shoppers to enter the store?
  • How do we convert Fuel Only shoppers that pay inside to purchase other items?

The NACS CTP database has grown to more than 115,000 convenience shopper interviews conducted across 42 states. This robust sample size enables the insights to be segmented by missions, demographics, day-part, product categories/subcategories and brand.  Interviews are conducted throughout the week. The questionnaires, developed in consultation with all participants, include store profiles (i.e., Rural, Urban, Interstate, Fuel/No Fuel, Beer Cave/No Beer Cave, Franchise Food/Proprietary, Size, etc.) and characteristics.

Primary research of this scale and scope has never been conducted in the U.S. market. CTP provided participants with vital insights into shopper intentions and behaviors. Because it's a syndicated program, the cost to participate is far lower than that of independent, proprietary consumer research and allows for benchmarking performance over time.