HIM receives feedback from 24,000 convenience store shoppers throughout the UK as part of the Convenience Tracking Programme (CTP), and from this we know that speed of service is fifth most important thing for shoppers when visiting a c-store.

On average, shoppers are rating c-stores a reasonable nine out of 10 for speed of service, so as an industry we are doing quite well, but there's still more to do to get this score to a '10'.

When we asked shoppers what would make them give top marks for speed, 21% said they wanted more staff on duty at busy times, with 13% saying opening more tills at busy times was the answer. Shorter queues, cash-only tills, self-service tills and 'five items or fewer' lanes were also mentioned.

Shoppers are visiting our stores four times a week on average, and most c-store shoppers are there to top-up shop either on their way to or from work and want to be in and out as quickly as possible.

When asked how convenience stores can improve in order to satisfy shoppers' needs better, 22% of people said faster speed of service, so this should provide us with a compelling reason to refocus on how we are doing in this aspect.

New research claims that self-service tills are an unpopular aspect of modern supermarket shopping, but our CTP findings suggest this isn't necessarily the case for convenience shoppers.

In fact, one in three (31%) of shoppers polled tell us that they would use a self-service till if it were introduced at their local convenience store. In addition, 11% of c-store staff also say they would like to see self-service tills introduced in their store.

Shoppers will also get increasingly used to self-service tills as they become more common in Sainsbury's, Tesco and Marks and Spencer stores, and they will come to expect the same facility to be available at their local convenience store.

For more insight on convenience store shoppers and staff, visit the him! research & consulting website here.