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Consumers Give High Marks to C-store Ratings

BOSTON — What do customer ratings mean to retailers? For convenience store operators, ratings could make the difference when deciding where to stop for their morning cup of Joe or where to pump their weekly fillup.  

GasBuddy's latest study of the importance of customer ratings and reviews revealed that 74 percent of GasBuddies actively rate c-stores and gas stations, and 75 percent find ratings and reviews helpful when choosing where to stop. Before stopping into a c-store, customers want to look at the overall star rating when deciding where to fuel up or grab morning coffee (34 percent), and read written reviews to learn more about individual customer experiences (22 percent).

Additionally, nearly a quarter of customers (21 percent) place the highest value on whether or not a convenience store retailer has taken the time to respond to customer reviews. This is especially important of negative reviews. Eight out of 10 survey respondents said they would consider returning to a store if they received a personal response to their complaint.

Other key highlights include:

  • 69 percent of users wouldn’t consider visiting a store if it had less than three stars;
  • 43 percent of GasBuddies only read 1-3 reviews before forming an opinion about a store;
  • 72 percent would consider revisiting a store if their complaint was resolved quickly; and
  • 70 percent of customers disregard reviews that are more than 30 days old.

The newest study follow ups to GasBuddy's recent data analysis of more than 7 million consumer-generated ratings of c-stores and gas stations across all 50 states. The ratings covered four main categories: Cleanest Restrooms, Best Coffee, Best Customer Service and Overall Experience. It included 131 different c-store brands with 30 locations or more, as CSNews Online previously reported.

GasBuddy's ratings and review feature is available across GasBuddy's entire network. It is displayed on consumers' station's page in the mobile app. From there, users can read and write reviews, vote-up the ones they find helpful, or flag ones that contain offensive or inappropriate content. Users can also see star ratings of the station at a glance and quickly know which categories are well-reviewed. 

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