Convenience retailers (c-stores) are increasingly feeling the pressure from grocery and general merchandise retailers offering a larger assortment of food and essentials through convenient delivery and pick-up options. Incisiv, a leading industry insights firm that helps retailers and brands navigate the changing retail buying journey, and Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions, a global market share leader in retail store technology and the industry’s first choice for unified commerce solutions, today announced their survey findings, titled State of the Industry: The Future of Convenience Stores.
According to the research, the convenience industry is adopting many new strategies to stay relevant. These include reallocating store space, ramping up fresh offerings, embracing flexible, speedy checkout, and further investing in their advantage - catering to their local communities. But the speed of change remains a problem for most chains, with 74% of respondents dissatisfied with their ability to experiment quickly. In addition, convenience has lagged compared to other segments technologically as it has not moved as fast toward unifying experiences across digital and in-store channels. This will need to be prioritized to compete for shopper's wallet share.
“There is a significant opportunity for the convenience industry to prioritize unified commerce to gain market share against other segments,” said Fredrik Carlegren, VP Marketing & Communications, Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions. “While grocery and delivery trends continue to encroach on ‘convenience’ trends unifying in-store, online and delivery, convenience retailers see the need to innovate rapidly to compete and succeed in a competitive market to win consumers.”
Additional key findings of the research include:
- 82% of c-stores lack a unified architecture across digital and physical commerce, and only 8% offer shoppers a unified eCommerce and in-store basket.
- 72% of c-store executives say it is important to differentiate on higher quality fresh food, but only 32% are satisfied with their banner's current offering.
- 30% of c-stores are planning to increase in-store space for fresh food prep, and 25% for in-store dining.
- 26% of c-stores plan to reduce space allocated to fixed checkout, and artificial intelligence or machine learning assisted self-checkout is set to outpace traditional self-checkout over the next 12-18 months.
- 62% of c-store executives consider becoming more relevant to the local community as a critical part of their growth strategy.
- 61% of c-store executives are satisfied with their banner's current capabilities around localizing assortment. However, they must become more adept at high-frequency replenishment, quicker inventory turns, and more frequent store layout resets.
“C-stores no longer just compete with the corner shop down the street. Grocery and general merchandise retailers offer a larger assortment of food and home essentials through convenient delivery and pick-up options. Quick Commerce upstarts such as Gopuff offer ultra-fast delivery in urban areas,” said Giri Agarwal, Chief Strategy Officer, Incisiv. “C-stores have the unique opportunity to become a unifying agent for some of the most exciting consumerism trends of the future: health and wellness, electric mobility and sustainability, and the rise of local ecologies. If they can do that successfully, they would have smartly redefined "Convenience 2.0" to be about more than the need for speed.”
Click here to download the complete findings from State of the Industry: The Future of Convenience Stores.
Incisiv conducted a hybrid online + Computer Aided Telephonic Interview (CATI) survey of 128 convenience retail executives in the United States. The study was conducted from September 6, 2022 - September 23, 2022.
Incisiv is a next-generation industry insights firm that helps retailers and brands navigate digital disruption in their industry. Incisiv offers consumer industry executives responsible for digital transformation a trusted platform to share and learn in a non-competitive setting, and the tools necessary to improve digital maturity, impact, and profitability. More information is available at https://www.incisiv.com.
About Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions
Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions is a global market share leader in retail store technology and retail’s first choice for unified commerce solutions. Together with a global team of dedicated business partners, we advance the future of retail with innovative commerce solutions that enhance customer engagement, transform the in-store experience, and accelerate digital transformation. To learn more, visit commerce.toshiba.com and engage with us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.