Americans are in love with convenience stores (c-stores). Over seven in 10 (71%) adult consumers, ages 18 and over, say they discover new products and brands in c-stores. Nearly four in 10 (38%) say they shop at c-stores two or more times a week, while overall, nearly two-thirds (62%) visit c-stores at least once a week.
The findings are part of a new nationally representative consumer sentiment survey on c-store shopping commissioned by NCSolutions (NCS), the leading company for improving advertising effectiveness for the CPG ecosystem.
Convenience Store Shoppers Agree...
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"These new consumer insights accentuate the considerable role convenience stores play in America today. At the c-store, the shopping moment is low risk for the consumer and high opportunity for brands," said Alan Miles, CEO, NCSolutions. "With mostly single-serve portions, consumers are looking for products on the go. It is a perfect place to engage and secure new brand buyers and identify the viability of new products."
C-STORES PROVIDE A GOOD SHOPPING EXPERIENCE AND VALUE
American consumers find shopping at c-stores offers numerous benefits. Seventy-nine percent of shoppers say the stores offer a lot of product variety, while 77% say c-stores provide a good shopping experience. Sixty-three percent see c-stores as delivering good value for their budgets.
GEN Z LIKES THE C-STORE EXPERIENCE AND DELIVERY
CPG brands looking to engage Gen Z can tap into this generation's favorable view of convenience stores. Ninety-one percent of Gen Z say c-stores provide a good shopping experience.
They're also more likely to use a delivery service for c-store items, with almost half (49%) reporting they have used a service such as 7-NOW, Instacart, DoorDash, Uber and others. This is 96% higher than all Americans who reported using a delivery service (25%) for c-store shopping.
WHAT BRINGS CONSUMERS INTO C-STORES?
Americans visit convenience stores for various reasons, but the location is number one, cited by 65% of American consumers. Fifty-nine percent say convenience stores meet their immediate needs, while 54% like that they can conduct transactions quickly and be on their way.
Nearly one-third (30%) say price brings them into the store, while 28% enjoy the variety of products c-stores have to offer. Additionally, thirty-four percent shop at c-stores because they are less crowded.
"The c-store channel offers a compelling potential for CPG brands to motivate new buyers to try their products. It's an especially attractive channel to reach the Gen Z consumer, who is very loyal to c-stores," said Dan Malmed, Chief Revenue Officer, NCSolutions. "Appealing to Gen Z c-store enthusiasts enables advertisers to build and drive loyalty as well as improve the return on ad spend of their campaigns."
SNAPPING UP CANDY AND BEVERAGES ON-THE-GO
More than two-thirds (67%) of Americans feed their sweet tooth with candy purchases from convenience stores, and many rely on c-stores as a place to quench their thirst. Fifty-seven percent of consumers said they purchase on-the-go drinks like coffee, tea, or fountain beverages at c-stores, while 40% buy milk, juice, and other staples. In addition, 32% pick up packaged beverages and 23% buy beer.
Beyond beverages, almost a third (30%) pick up prepared foods while in the store. Thirty-seven percent purchase lottery tickets.
GETTING SOCIAL WITH CONVENIENCE STORE SHOPPERS
Consumer purchase behaviors are also influenced by what they see on social media. Seventy percent of c-store shoppers said they're more likely to purchase products they see promoted on c-store social media channels.
To learn more about consumers and how they shop at convenience stores, download our insight report.
ABOUT CONSUMER SENTIMENT SURVEY
The online survey of 2,216 respondents, age 18 or older, was fielded from October 7-10, 2022. Responses presented in this survey were weighted by location, education, income and other demographics to be representative of the overall population.
NCSolutions makes advertising work better. Our unrivaled data resources powered by leading providers combine with scientific rigor and leading-edge technology to empower the CPG ecosystem to create and deliver more effective advertising. With NCS's proven approach, brands achieve continuous optimization everywhere ads appear through purchase-based audience targeting and sales measurement solutions that have impacted billions in media spend for our customers. NCS is a joint venture company with Nielsen as the majority owner.