Consumer shopping preferences continue to evolve alongside the technology that is driving their expansion. For c-stores looking to meet current customers’ needs, this means investing in a mobile strategy that helps deliver quick and easy visits.
Short attention spans and busy schedules lead to the following findings of the 2019 CSN Realities of the Aisle consumerstudy, where quick and easy are the main two words consumers use to define convenient. A total of 44% of shoppers cite quick/quick visits make a store convenient and 22% describe an easy experience as being convenient.
Meets Current and Future Customer Needs
The move to a branded app provides c-stores with the ability to stay competitive in an increasingly crowded space that includes QSRs and grocery stores today. It gives them the opportunity to address consumers’ expectations for a superior omnichannel experience by providing customers access to valuable offers, loyalty programs, and the ability to pay for purchases, which helps deliver on the quick, easy and enjoyable value proposition.
A mobile app further allows c-stores to integrate an ecommerce experience that could grow to accommodate online ordering of prepared foods and potential pump or home delivery in the future. Consider the NPD Group’s 2019 findings that six out of 10 digital orders are by mobile apps and that mobile app usage and online ordering for meals has grown at an average annual rate of 23 percent since 2013 and it appears the c-store industry is headed down the same path.
Branded Solution Increases Engagement
In the meantime, a mobile app offers c-stores the opportunity to drive more customers from the pump to inside the store, encourage the purchase of more items, and increase the number of visits per customer. This puts c-stores in a position to foster continued engagement and to ultimately collect more data that will help them better understand their customers’ experiences.
Plus, because c-store shoppers are frequent visitors on mobile, it means they’re more likely to embrace this channel and download the app of their favorite, local c-store. If a c-store has invested in the proper design and integration features with POS access, their app will improve convenience, value and speed for their customers.
Additionally, a branded app that is integrated with a multi-layered loyalty program can provide a better overall experience by eliminating the need for customers to carry multiple cards and by delivering fuel rewards as well as personalized loyalty offers. Mobile apps offer both c-stores and their customers a simplified solution to earning and redeeming rewards during every visit.
That’s really the key for c-stores — being able to deliver quick and easy experiences and encourage loyalty through valuable offers and promotions. Ready to learn more about how to drive more business to your c-store? Download the free ebook, 5 C-Store Strategies to Increase Customer Engagement and Loyalty.