The growing role of technology in operations, engaging shoppers with personal experiences and energy readiness are the top three trends that PDI Technologies predicts will be top of mind for the convenience industry in 2024.
Optimizing workforces, offering advanced amenities, managing industry consolidation and navigating economic uncertainty were a few of the ongoing pressures that convenience retailers experienced in 2023, according to PDI.
“Top retailers, popular brands, and technology innovators will distinguish themselves by prioritizing integration and collaboration,” said Jeff Hassman, vice president of product strategy and partnerships at PDI. “We all have insightful data on what's happening in the store, at the pump, or behind the scenes. By working together to connect that data, we can maximize the convenience experience for consumers—which means a big win for the industry.”
Here are the top three trends that will most impact the convenience industry in 2024, according to PDI:
- Technology's growing role in operational excellence: With evolving labor challenges, forward-looking operators will invest in technologies that integrate easily with their existing systems to reduce complexity and make their processes—and their employees—smarter, faster and more efficient.
- The need to deliver more valuable consumer experiences: While consumer confidence may improve as inflation levels off, engaging shoppers with the most relevant, compelling and personal experiences will become table stakes for retailers and CPG brands alike. Product promotions also can have positive long-term results, as revealed in the recent “Tracking Convenience Report” based on data and analysis from PDI and GasBuddy.
- E-mobility and electric vehicle readiness: Though the energy transition has begun, there's still runway to ensure that the prime real estate c-stores already occupy becomes a strategic destination beyond fuel for consumers looking to charge their EVs.
“Retailers already winning at foodservice understand the c-store as a destination, which we've seen with success first in the highly competitive European and Asian markets and now throughout North America,” said Justin Baxley, vice president of retail product management at PDI. “The need to prioritize additional amenities beyond fuel will continue as c-stores cement their relevance to consumers of all kinds, no matter if they're driving internal combustion engine, electric, or other types of vehicles.”
PDI Technologies, Alpharetta, Georgia, serves more than 200,000 locations worldwide with solutions like the Fuel Rewards program and GasBuddy. The report was based off of GasBuddy consumer survey data from more than 15,000 convenience retail consumers across all key U.S. geographic locations.
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