Mobile 2 Go: A Digital Engagement Roadmap for Convenience Stores

General Mills study shows c-stores lag behind other channels, provides direction

Angel Abcede, Senior Editor/Tobacco, CSP

Gas Station Road Map

OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill. --Despite the fact that convenience stores are lagging behind other retail channels in engaging consumers on a digital front, a study from General Mills provides a roadmap of sorts, giving operators direction as to what they could do to catch up.

One of the findings listed the top five reasons why shoppers connected with c-stores, including receiving coupons (67%), finding out about sales or special deals (62%), updates on new products or offers (55%), seeing what products are offered (48%) and locating the nearest store (47%).

Calling awareness of new products or programs one of the major uses of digital communication, Chris Quam, consumer insights manager for the Minneapolis-based General Mills Convenience & Foodservice division, said such communication is an active, ongoing process. "Simply developing a great app or e-mail program is not enough to get noticed or used."

In the study conducted last December of 360 c-store shoppers aged 18 to 64, 86% said they received digital communications from a variety of retailers, including mass merchandisers, c-stores, drug stores and others. But only 41% of shoppers connect digitally with c-stores (website visits, texts, emails or mobile applications).

While the lag may be troubling, the bright side to the information is that it gives permission for retailers to now pursue such strategies. It sheds light on what for many c-store operators may be a black hole.

Hopefully more retailers will notice the breadcrumbs being left by others and start their own journeys.

For more on the study, click here.

Angel Abcede, CSP/Winsight By Angel Abcede, Senior Editor/Tobacco, CSP
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