Why people enter gas station convenience stores

why customers enter a store

For service and gas stations, sundry sales account for a large majority of profits. That’s why it’s critical to understand why customers enter the c-store in the first place. Consumers tend to frequent gas stations that are near their homes or workplaces. Why? Well, because it is easy for them to stop by before or after work hours. This article will outline some of the findings in a study done by NACS (NACS consumer survey, 2018) about consumer behaviours in gas stations.

How many customers go inside the store?

According to the study mentioned above approximately 48% of shoppers went into a convenience store in 2018. 47% not did not go in and the remaining 5% did not have a store available. This change could be attributed to the popularity of pay at the pump services. Though they increase throughput, they decrease the need for customers to enter the c-store. The customers that do enter the store have some significant demographic variations. with approximately 60% of them being between 18-34 years old and about 55% being male. These numbers make it challenging to capitalize on general sundry sales so its critical to understand why the people that enter the store do so. 

Why did customers go inside the store?

Of the proportion of customers that entered a c-store, 53% of them did so with the primary motivation of purchasing a beverage. 20% entered to purchase a snack, and 27% did so to purchase other goods. According to the study, about 52% of the customers that enter do so in the morning hours. This makes it critical for convenience stores to have a healthy stock of morning goods. Always have things such as coffee, quick breakfast items, and other morning supplies on hand. Since beverage purchases account for the majority of reasons people go into a c-store, ensure you have a varied supply of soft drinks, cold and hot beverages, and pre-packaged beverages.

Why didn’t customer go inside the store?

The majority of customers don’t go into a c-store because they simply don’t feel they need anything (85%). The second reason is time constraints, though it only accounted for 10% of the customers surveyed by NACS. Convincing customers that they need something from the store is a difficult task. However, well placed advertising and enticing offers with gas purchases can convert some of the consumers with extra time. Having a solid marketing campaign in place for your most popular items is essential to capturing these customers.

How much time do customers spend in the store?

Customers generally do not shop around when they enter a convenience store. According to NACS, the majority of customers only spend approximately 3 minutes and 33 seconds in the purchasing process. While fast throughput is necessary to maintain good customer service, having customer spend a few extra seconds in your store could mean the difference between their order being $5 or $12. Setting your convenience store up so customer have to look at product offers, sales, and specials when they enter sets you up for possible impulse purchases. These must be used with caution, however, as customers may feel like the transaction is taking too long if another customer is making a large order.

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