News • 05.07.2022

Convenience Experience Report: Demand for short lines, mobile ordering, and drive-thru

Americans put convenience stores on par with fast food restaurants

A gas station in the middle of a desert in the United States with the word...
Source: Suzanne Emily O’Connor/Unsplash

Bluedot introduced the first Convenience Experience Report, a benchmark study that explores consumer sentiment and the customer experience at gas stations and convenience stores (c-stores).

The research was based on a survey of 1,570 American consumers and was conducted last month. The inaugural report explores how consumers think about c-stores and gas stations and what drives their behavior, preferences, and loyalty. The findings offer a glimpse into the current customer experience as well as consumer demand and expectations for gas stations and c-stores of the future.

Strikingly, the data indicates consumers are putting c-stores on par with fast food restaurants. Nearly 6 in 10 consider purchasing a meal from a convenience store when stopping for fast food.

The research also uncovered significant demand for mobile ordering, drive-thru, and curbside pickup. 61% of consumers state they would visit a c-store more often if all were available.

The research also signals c-stores and gas stations have been losing customers to short lines. Nearly half of the consumers surveyed say they will walk out of a c-store if one or two people are in line at the register. Also noteworthy, 1 in 3 say they will drive away if there's just one car ahead of them at the pump. In the future, one way c-store brands might think about keeping customers in stores longer could be by adding EV charging stations to their locations. The report found the vast majority of EV owners (74%) want to charge next to convenience stores.

"The data supports what industry leaders have been saying for some time – c-stores are now competing head to head with QSRs [quick service restaurants]. Clearly, the investments c-store brands have been making into foodservice initiatives are paying off," said Emil Davityan, Bluedot co-founder and CEO. "The data also strongly signals that there's an opportunity for gas and c-store brands to do much more with loyalty programs and mobile strategies to boost retention, especially if discounts are determining consumer preferences and habits."

For more insights and highlights from the report including the topics of 

  • Convenience and Restaurants
  • At the Pump
  • Pricing
  • Loyalty
  • Mobile Apps
  • Future-Proofing

take a look at the press release.

Source: Bluedot

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