Convenience shoppers reveal how they think retailers can improve their stores

Last month we looked at what is important to customers shopping in convenience stores, so let's now consider how the industry as a whole is meeting these needs and what else shoppers say retailers can do to improve their stores.

First, some excellent news. This year's shopper satisfaction ratings are better than 2009, which is very positive for the c-store industry and shows that stores have really upped their game over the past year.

Shoppers have rated availability in convenience stores a healthy 8.9 out of 10, although 12% of convenience store customers say that ensuring that staple products (milk and bread etc) are always in stock would encourage them to give the store a better rating for availability.

Value for money is currently rated 8.4 out of 10. Here 18% of shoppers say more targeted, relevant promotions would make them improve their rating.

Speed of service is rated as 9.1 out of 10. Shoppers suggest this could be increased by "having more staff at busy times of the day" (25%), and "opening more tills at busy times" (13%).

Some 59% of shoppers say retailers need to offer more fresh produce, while 52% would like more of the staples so that they can do more of their weekly shop at their local store. Clearer pricing is the request from 41%.

About one in three would like the store to offer more well-known brands so "I know what I am getting". And 27% say clearer layouts in store would help them to find everything they are looking for quickly and easily, and 22% would like faster service.