If there are any retailers out there who remain unconvinced about the importance of services – or the value of the services shopper – then hopefully these facts taken from HIM’s Convenience Tracking Programme will help convince you otherwise. 

Services – by which we mean mobile phone top-up and utility bill payment terminals, cash machines and a post office – are becoming an expectation, with 8% of shoppers expecting them to be available in their local store.

Service users visit 4.1 times a week compared with the average c-store shopper who visits 3.9 times per week. And the services shopper doesn’t usually just visit the store for the service alone – they buy 2.4 items per trip, on average, and they spend an average of £7.58 per visit, which is more than the average c-store shopper. About 40% of service users are on a top-up mission, typically buying newspapers, milk, confectionery and bread, so the retailer makes a profit on the average 3.1 accompanying items sold.

Services are also a “destination category” as most service users are coming from home and returning straight back home. More than half (53%) of service users live within a quarter of a mile of the store, highlighting the importance of promoting services locally through the use of leaflet drops.

The profile of the services user is slightly more female (67% vs 33% men), of lower socio-economic background, and where there are children in the household. Retailers who have stores in these kinds of catchments should see high services penetrations.

Nearly 10% of service users say they would probably shop elsewhere if their c-store removed services (ie take all their business elsewhere). So services attract customers to your store more frequently, they are more likely to spend more, and they are more loyal to your store – a win, win! 

Tips for retailers with services:
Keep services clean, accessible and in working order  Actively promote the services to your customers

 Display the correct pos material to build awareness of the services

 Include details of services on leaflets and adverts.