The habits of consumers shopping at convenience stores ('C-stores') are shifting across the board amid the backdrop of the global pandemic, according to a study by retail and fuel solutions provider PDI Software. This article is copyright 2020 The Best Customer Guide.

The company's latest research report, entitled "2020 C-Store Shopper Report", was based on the study of 450 convenience retailers across several countries, including responses from 2,500 US consumers and 150 decision-makers who work for retailers, grocers, and CPG brands, and aims to provide new insights into shopper preferences during the pandemic.

Among the key findings of the survey:

  • US and Non-US convenience retailers placed customer retention at the top of their list of current business necessities (US 16%, Non-US 18%).
  • Retailers are increasing focus on customer experience as a means to increase revenue. U.S. (66%) and Non-U.S. (74%) convenience store retailers claim they plan to improve the customer experience after the pandemic subsides.
  • More c-store loyalty members (40%) said they currently use their mobile app to track and redeem rewards than all loyalty members (37%).

"Effective loyalty programs utilize data to profitably change consumer behavior. Due to the pandemic and other market forces, consumer habits have shifted, and data from loyalty programs are more critical than ever to stay ahead and adapt to evolving consumer trends," says Brandon Logsdon, president and general manager, Marketing Cloud and Fuel Pricing Solutions, PDI.

COVID-19 has also created a significant impact on the way consumers pay now, and likely, for the foreseeable future. Nearly three out of ten US and Non-US convenience retailers experienced changes in purchase and payment trends like increased contactless and mobile payment, as well as curbside pickup or home delivery.

The report has been made available for free download from PDI's web site, here: https://go.pdisoftware.com/2020cstoreshopper