Survey: Consumers Shop C-Stores As Regularly As Supermarkets

convenience store

In an effort to understand how the consumer shops in convenience stores, a recent survey of 1,000 men and women across the U.S. was conducted by Social Science Research Solutions (SSRS) for Imprint Plus, a leading manufacturer of customized, re-usable, magnetic name badge and signage systems.

When asked how often consumers shop in a convenience store, 59 percent of the respondents reported more than once a week, with that number increasing to more than 70 percent among 18- to 44-year-olds. Surprisingly 25 percent of the consumers surveyed reported that they shop in a convenience store more or as frequently as they shop at the supermarket or grocery store.

“Virtually every consumer today shops at a convenience store, with only 6 percent of the respondents stating that they never shop there,” said Marla Kott, Imprint Plus CEO. “Most of the convenience store shoppers are married (48 percent), employed (63 percent) with the majority (80 percent) living in metro regions of the country. Given these numbers every national consumer products manufacturer, such as Coke, Pepsi, Hershey’s, Kraft, Frito-Lay, Nabisco, Welch’s, must be targeting these consumers, so excellent customer service can make a difference.”

Among the top purchases at convenience stores are drinks such as soda, bottled water or juice (29 percent); or snacks and candy (21 percent). Other purchases included gas (12 percent); milk or dairy products (11 percent); and cigarettes (10 percent). One third of all respondents (33 percent) said that it was important for a convenience store to carry ethnic branded products, such as Indian, Chinese or Spanish foods. The number rose to 41 percent among 18- to 34-year-olds. In addition, 42 percent of consumers think it is important for employees to be fluent in a language other than English, reflecting on the global shopping experience. This number jumps to 51 percent among 18- to 34-year-olds.

When shopping in a convenience store, 35 percent reported that it is important to know a person by name when doing business. The percentage increases to 39 percent among those consumers in the 35- to 44-year-old age demographic.

In previous Imprint Plus consumer surveys, 76 percent said that they had more trust in a business and considered the company more professional when their employees wore name badges. The percentages were higher overall among the 18- to 34-year-old demographic.

“Customers place a higher level of trust in businesses that visibly brand and distinguish their staff. Identifying the employee with a professional name badge that promotes accountability and a commitment to customer relations, can enhance the shopping experience,” said Kott. “Rather than sticking on a plain paper label or pinning on a plastic tag, people are choosing sleek, impressive-looking metallic name badges that showcase the wearer professionally, without falling off or damaging clothing.”


About The Author

A former newspaper editor and publisher who has handled digital duties for The Shelby Report since 2011. She once enjoyed leisurely perusing the grocery store aisles but, since having a baby in 2016, is now an enthusiastic click-and-collect shopper.

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