September 22, 2021
8 min read

Adapting Pricing, Personalization and Mobile C-Store Offerings to Serve Today’s Shopper

Adapting Pricing, Personalization and Mobile C-Store Offerings to Serve Today’s Shopper

The pandemic upended the routines of many, including changing the way we travel, both for work and leisure. Despite these major shifts, consumers are still making a habit of visiting c-stores regularly. In fact, 65% shop at a c-store once a week or more, according to Convenience Store News’ 2021 Realities of the Aisle Study.  

 As consumer habits continue to evolve, the c-store remains an important source of fuel, snacks, on-the-go items and last-minute groceries. We dug into the latest consumer trends and behaviors reported by Convenience Store News and identified how c-store retailers can adapt their in-store offerings to meet these new shopping habits. 

Price sensitivity remains important  

With ongoing inflation and high consumer prices, consumers are sensitive to prices when determining where to shop. Convenience Store News’ study found that 54% of shoppers say price is the number one factor for a positive shopping experience.  

Yet for larger retailers that have many stores, ensuring their prices are competitive yet profitable can be difficult to do manually.  

An AI-driven dynamic pricing solution enables retailers to react to internal and external factors to quickly and effectively establish optimized prices. Automated processes are key to making real-time, in-store pricing updates.    

For example, as lunchtime approaches and breakfast items are still on the counter, setting a lower price can motivate a sale. Or if a specific beverage doesn’t sell as frequently as it usually does, dynamic pricing can signal the need for a promotion to compete against other c-stores. 

Personalization incentivizes loyalty   

The Convenience Store News report also found that a quarter of shoppers note that a loyalty program can influence their visit to a convenience store. Retailers can respond to this shopping preference by offering loyalty programs that provide benefits, including coupons and targeted promotions to ensure shoppers return. This might look like a rewards-based loyalty program that offers the purchase of a ninth breakfast sandwich for free. 

With a loyalty program, retailers can access data with insights on shopper behaviors to further provide a personalized experience. As well, retailers gain a better understanding of top-selling inventory, which helps them manage assortment and ensure those items are always in stock. In fact, 45% of consumers cite having the specific products they want as a critical factor to shopping with a retailer.  

It’s not only essential to personalize a customer experience with targeted promotions and a relevant recommended product assortment, but it’s also beneficial to use aggregated customer insights to tailor these offers. For example, the most consumers shop is between 4-7 p.m. At this time, consumers are more likely to be filling up on fuel or alcoholic beverages, rather than a morning commuter looking for coffee – and retailers should adjust their offers accordingly.  

Mobile emphasizes convenience 

Instead of the overall experience, more c-store shoppers today are placing an emphasis on the convenience that these stores provide. Converging retail formats – such as grocerants – have heightened the importance of convenience and the speed of service a retailer gives. For instance, more and more shoppers are finding they can buy the same products at convenience stores with more speed and efficiency, as opposed to waiting in long checkout lines at supermarkets to get their groceries. 

Mobile devices can also help c-store retailers capitalize on the speed in which orders are processed, from pre-ordering, to checkout to contactless payments. And consumers are open to these shopping methods, with Convenience Store News finding that 15% of consumers seek out contactless shopping, and 14% want to be able to use a mobile app. 

Access the right solutions to gain flexible control of the shopper experience 

From mobile POS, customer loyalty, store merchandise management, dynamic pricing, AI-enabled personalization and so much more, GK Software’s CLOUD4RETAIL platform offers a full range of technology that keeps convenience store retailers in control of the shopper experience. 

We’ll be at NACS October 5-8, at booth 6889. If you’re attending, feel free to visit us, or reach out to learn more about our solutions.