Georgina Wild of HIM has some fresh insight into what drives younger shoppers to c-stores

We all want to know how to drive footfall to convenience stores, right? Well, I'm sure you'd agree that increasing a store's appeal to groups of customers currently undertrading with it is a good place to start.

At HIM research & consulting, we know that the demographic group visiting convenience stores the least are those aged 18-24. So, as they are going to be our customers of the future, how do we get them to visit our stores more often now? And what would encourage them to visit in the first place?

HIM research & consulting has just spoken to more than 1,000 c-store customers to find out what would encourage them to visit more often and, as part of the study, we spoke to 18- to 24-year-olds to get their thoughts.

Most say a cash machine would encourage them to visit more often, while 61% said they would visit their local convenience store more often if they offered a 'night in' meal deal such as a bottle of wine/soft drink plus crisps and chocolate.

More than half of 18- to 24-year-olds said they would visit more often if their local convenience store offered cold beers, ciders and white wines. Nearly as many (44%) would be encouraged to visit more often if the store offered DVD rentals, while 42% said they would if they stocked a larger range of magazine titles.

As part of the study, we also asked 18- to 24-year-olds which technologies they will be using more in stores in the next few years. More than half said they will be using self-service checkouts; 31% said using vouchers sent via text; and 30% said self-scanning products via handheld devices while shopping the store.

In addition, a quarter said they would like to do online shopping and pick up from their local store, and 21% identified wave & pay card transactions. It also seems that paying for shopping via mobile phone and text ordering to pick up shopping in store will also be popular choices with this age group.

We should be engaging with these customers now so that they stay shopping with us in the future.

For more insight on driving footfall to convenience stores, visit