As part of a huge industry wide study to take a look into the future of convenience, HIM research & consulting spoke to shoppers, supplier head office executives, wholesalers, retailers to understand what they think the future of convenience looks like.
The consensus is that the outlook for convenience is bright with many shoppers saying that they will be using online grocery shopping more and therefore top-up shopping more in local convenience stores, going out to eat less, going away less on holiday, entertaining at home more, spending more time with their family and working longer hours which are all positives for convenience.

However only 88% of shoppers say they think that convenience retailers are currently moving with the times. What else do shoppers want from their convenience store? Well shoppers say that they are now more concerned with issues such as local sourcing/food miles, ethical and fair-trade, carbon off setting, recycling and reducing food waste, any retailer who is not thinking about these things will undoubtedly get left behind as the competition incorporate all these things into their strategy. Shoppers are also increasingly concerned with health and wellness products and local community.

Shoppers say convenience stores should be doing more of the following in relation to the products they offer in the future: 94% of shoppers say they would like more value products, 93% more fresh products, 92% want more promotions on everyday products and 86% of shoppers would like more new products introduced more regularly (no wonder when convenience shoppers visit us on average 4 times a week).

With regards to customer service in convenience shoppers say they would like more friendly staff and better trained staff. 

They would like the shopping experience to be more fun and enjoyable. C-stores shouldn’t be bland “me too” grocery stores – shoppers want to be inspired by c-stores who offer new, different and premium products to other stores in the area. This latest research should give c-retailers the confidence, if not unbridled desire, to innovate regularly with product ranges. Being different is where convenience stores can excel by stocking local produce, supporting the local community, community notice boards, offering tastings and samplings, and providing inspiration for recipes such as a recipe share board.

The information in this article is taken from HIM's new Future of Convenience Report available now for only £500 with in depth insight & a huge amount of ideas for improving convenience going forward. For more information or to make an order contact Katy Moses.