Convenience Store News

Consumer Insights Guide 2017

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Editor's Note WWW.CSNEWS.COM | FEBRUARY 2017 | Guide to Consumer Insights 45 You Asked, We Deliver CSNews' readers told us that consumer insights is the most important content for their jobs A t Convenience Store News and our par- ent company EnsembleIQ, it is always our goal to be the premier provider of actionable marketplace intelligence for our readers, to help them do their jobs better and in turn, contribute to greater success for their organizations. This past fall, we surveyed our readers to make sure we are on the pulse in regards to the information that's most important to you, and the way you want it deliv- ered. Consumer insights/trends repeatedly appeared at the top of the list as the most important content for helping our readers be more effective at work. I wasn't surprised to see consumer insights so highly ranked since after all, the consumer is (or should be) at the heart of nearly every decision made in convenience retailing. I also wasn't surprised because consumers are challenging — it seems like every day, we're writing a new story on consumers' changing needs and wants. One day, they're most interested in health and well- ness. The next day, they want to indulge. The week after that, they're most concerned about sustainability. Man, are we humans a complicated bunch! For the past eight years now, CSNews has been taking our readers inside the minds of convenience store shoppers with our annual Realities of the Aisle consumer study. This year, we've gone a step further to present you with our "Guide to Consumer Insights." This special section contains what CSNews' editors believe are the most interesting and actionable findings from the research. Interviews were conducted with 1,505 consumers who shop at a convenience store at least once a month, and our survey essentially asked these respondents the who, what, when, where, why and how of their shopping habits. To add even more value for our readers, this Guide to Consumer Insights places an emphasis on analyzing the behavior of frequent c-store shoppers (those who visit daily or weekly) vs. infrequent c-store shoppers (those who visit less than once a week). We often hear in the marketplace about The 80/20 Rule — that 80 percent of your sales come from 20 percent of your customers and therefore, you should expend 80 per- cent of your effort on getting that 20 percent to visit more and spend more. We're arming you with insights to do just that. Some of the key differences our research revealed are that frequent c-store shoppers tend to be male, have children, and are most prevalent in the 45- to 54-year-old age range; the $75,000-$99,999 and $35,000-or-less income ranges; and in the Northeast region of the country. Along with making c-store visits part of their regular routine, they are loyal to particular c-stores. When asked what more convenience stores could do to encourage them to shop more, the responses of frequent c-store shoppers included: • Adding a drive-thru window; • Providing delivery; • Technology that would let them bypass the checkout; • Special discounts and coupons exclusive to fre- quent shoppers; • Offering cash back; and • A greater selection of products, particularly more "fresh" and "healthy" items. Read on for more of our findings. And throughout this year, we'll be bringing you many other highlights from our Realities of the Aisle research. You asked, we deliver. METHODOLOGY The eighth-annual Convenience Store News Realities of the Aisle con- sumer study was implemented by Carbonview Research, a custom primary market research and analysis firm owned by CSNews' par- ent company EnsembleIQ. The study was coordinated by Research Director Debra Chanil. Electronic interviews were conducted with 1,505 consumers who shop at a convenience store at least once a month. The sample of respondents was obtained from a national panel, representing the total population based on gender, age, region, income and presence of children in the household. The sur- vey asked these respondents how often they shopped, their reasons for shopping, purchases preferences, frequencies, and amount spent for a variety of convenience product categories. LINDA LISANTI Editor-in-Chief [email protected] (201) 855-7608

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