Technology/Services

The Convenience Premium: Motorists Looking for One-Stop Shops

Almost 60% of drivers would pay more if it meant making a single stop; nearly 80% willing to drive out of their way to visit preferred store
Photograph: Shutterstock

Time-pressed drivers are not only prioritizing convenience and a one-stop-shop experience when making on-the-go purchases, but they are also willing to pay more and even drive a little out of their way to get it, according to a new survey by Vontier, an industrial technology and connected mobility company.

The data reveals that drivers place a significant premium on convenience stores that offer diverse food options and additional services that make their stops more productive and efficient, Vontier said.

The survey found that almost 60% of all respondents would be happy to pay a markup on convenience-store products if it meant making only one stop. On average, American consumers are open to a 10% to 11% price increase for items like made-to-order meals and snacks, and as much as a 9% increase for household essentials if it meant cutting out multiple stops on their journey.

This willingness to pay a premium for convenience is particularly interesting in light of ongoing concerns about rising food prices and the cost of basic goods and services. The survey suggests that while price remains a factor, consumers increasingly value the time-saving benefits of convenience stores.

With half of Americans visiting convenience stores at least once a week, this willingness to pay more for convenience is not just a vacation road trip splurge, but a purchasing decision that’s being made frequently.

Sixty-one percent of respondents say they have a favorite convenience store and nearly 80% are willing to drive out of their way to visit their preferred store, even if it means passing other options. The survey also revealed that a significant portion of respondents (almost half) would be willing to delay a restroom break to ensure they could shop at their preferred store. Forty-three percent said they would risk driving on empty to get to their preferred store.

Food for Thought

In a show of changing consumer behavior, tastes and expectations, 62% of respondents said they have gone to a convenience store specifically for food and one-third said they go to convenience stores for hot, fresh restaurant-style food. Forty-seven percent said they have chosen convenience-store food over other nearby options.

Convenience stores are not only hot new dining destinations, but they are also incorporating new technologies and services to drive productivity and meet consumer demands. Sixty-two percent of respondents said they value mobile ordering during the purchasing process. Seventy-three percent said they appreciate it when a convenience store offers additional services such as car washes. Nearly half of Americans wish there was at least one electric-vehicle (EV) charging station at every single convenience store.

“The landscape of convenience stores is undergoing a significant transformation,” said Mark Morelli, president and CEO at Vontier. “Our research underscores the growing consumer demand for convenience and efficiency like mobile ordering in their day-to-day lives. New technologies and services are raising the bar on the convenience-store experience, making it more than a stop on the journey but a destination in itself for everything from an amazing meal

Raleigh, North Carolina-based Vontier unites productivity, automation and multi-energy technologies to meet the needs of a rapidly evolving, more connected mobility ecosystem, it said. Vontier is the parent company of Greensboro, North Carolina-based fueling dispenser and solutions company Gilbarco Veeder-Root and open-platform retailing and payment hardware and software firm Invenco.

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