Survey: C-store Shoppers Demand a More Efficient Experience

BATH, United Kingdom — Shoppers, especially younger ones, demand a more efficient and technology-driven convenience store experience, according to Zynstra's newly released C-Store Consumer Insights Survey.

When asked about their willingness to wait in line at a convenience store, shoppers were less than enthused. Fifteen percent of respondents said they will abandon a non-essential purchase after just one minute of waiting in line, with nearly half of these shoppers leaving after only 30 seconds.

At the pump, 28 percent of shoppers said they do not go inside to buy goods twice per month or more when they see a line at checkout that is at least one minute long. Nearly the same amount of respondents (27 percent) experience this once a month.

Shoppers' frustrations go beyond long lines, too. With 31 percent of respondents said that they have encountered a malfunctioning credit card system at the fuel pump that forced them to go inside and wait to pay for their gas once a month (16 percent), and in some cases more than twice a month (15 percent).

In light of the frustrations shoppers face, there are ways for retailers to curb these disappointing experiences. According to respondents, upgraded technology could improve their in-store experiences. Sixty-one percent of shoppers said that the presence of an available self-checkout option would change their decision to abandon a purchase due to a long line at the checkout. Additionally, if presented with a faster checkout for card payment only, 80 percent of shoppers would use it, with 47 percent using it every time and 33 percent when the cash line is too long.

According to the report, these technology updates are important for the next generation of shoppers as well. Findings show:

  • Respondents aged 18-34 are more likely to utilize online ordering, pick-up in store and home delivery. Forty-two percent of this group stated that home delivery would make shopping at a c-store more convenient.
  • When asked if the presence of an available self-checkout option would change their decision to abandon a purchase due to a long line at the checkout, 79 percent of 18- to 24-year-old c-store shoppers answered yes vs. 34 percent of those c-store shoppers over the age of 65.
  • More than any other age group, 18- to 24-year-old customers shopped at c-stores more than any other age group. These cohorts also said they shop at c-stores more than online, grocery and drug stores. These results make this age group an important customer for years to come that must be catered to for increased c-store success, according to Zynstra.

C-Store Consumer Insights Survey is based on the results of an online survey of 1,000 shoppers, ages 18 to 65-plus.

U.K.-based Zynstra enables retailers to deliver superior customer and employee experiences through faster innovation and radically reduces cost to serve in-store.