Convenience Store News

DEC 2016

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60 Convenience Store News | DECEMBER 2016 | WWW.CSNEWS.COM Enterprise + POS + Digital + Payment Systems + Business Intelligence TECHNOLOGY Another way chain c-store retailers are attempting to draw shoppers to their stores is via social media. Of particular interest in this year's study is an apparent shift in the social media networks c-store operators are using to promote their wares. Not surprisingly, Facebook is still No. 1, with nearly all chain retailers Study found that nearly half of chain c-stores (47 percent) now offer a mobile app, a solid 8 percentage- point increase compared to last year, and a robust 18 percentage-point increase compared to two years ago. In 2014, just 29 percent of c-store operators indicated they were offering a mobile app. Promotional/ Sales Technology (percent of chains using each) Social Media (percent of chains using) Ninety-two percent of those surveyed are investing in promo- tional/sales technology, with video monitors being the big winner. Text messaging to customers and merchandise ordering at the pump also exhibited strong year-over-year growth. Facebook continues to be the mostly widely used social media channel among c-store operators, followed by Twitter. Other social media sites to see a boost in usage by industry players are Instagram, Pinterest, Google Plus, and Tumblr. CURRENT YEAR AGO Any promotional sales/technology (net) 91.9% 88.2% IN STORE: Social media 59.1% 52.9% Video monitors 58.3% 47.1% Mobile apps 47.2% 33.2% Automated loyalty programs 45.0% 46.5% GPS/geolocation 40.0% 23.5% Text messaging to customers 39.4% 35.3% Email marketing 36.1% 28.7% AT PUMP: Video monitors 40.6% 33.3% Advertising/couponing 31.0% 31.6% Merchandise ordering 7.5% 1.9% Source: Convenience Store News Market Research, 2016 CURRENT YEAR AGO Facebook 98.6% 97.1% Twitter 68.7% 70.9% Instagram 34.5% 14.5% Foursquare 19.1% 29.2% Pinterest 12.2% 6.2% Google Plus 6.0% 3.0% Tumblr 5.9% 2.8% Base: Respondents who use social media in marketing plans Source: Convenience Store News Market Research, 2016 Loyalty Programs After a long period of growth, the number of c-store chain opera- tors offering a loyalty program leveled off this year, declining by one percentage point to 61.2 percent. The research shows fewer point/reward-based programs are being offered; however, the introduction of loyalty programs with credit card or other pay- ment options is on the rise. CURRENT YEAR AGO DOES YOUR COMPANY OFFER A LOYALTY PROGRAM? DESCRIPTION OF LOYALTY PROGRAM TYPE OF LOYALTY PROGRAM Yes No Point/reward-based Proprietary Credit card/payment option Tied to a major oil brand Both Both 61.2% 71.3% 5.9% 42.8% 62.4% 16.7% 38.8% 22.8% 34.9% 22.4% 37.6% 83.3% 33.3% 33.3% 33.3% Source: Convenience Store News Market Research, 2016

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