Long lines are a definite no-no for convenience store retailers.
According to the C-Store Consumer Insights Survey from store infrastructure provider Zynstra, an NCR company, 15% of respondents said they will abandon a non-essential purchase after just one minute of waiting in line, with nearly half of these shoppers leaving after only 30 seconds. And when refilling their gas tank, 28% of respondents said they do not go inside to buy goods twice per month or more when they see a line at checkout that is at least one minute long. A further 27% experience this once per month.
Respondent frustrations go beyond long lines. Three in 10 (31%) respondents say that they have encountered a malfunctioning credit card system at the fuel pump that forced them to go inside and wait to pay for their gas once a month (16%), or more than twice a month (15%).
However, respondents also indicated there are a number of technologies convenience store retailers can deploy to make the brick-and-mortar shopping experience more conducive:
• 61% said that the presence of an available self-checkout option would change their decision to abandon a purchase due to a long line at the checkout.
• If presented with a faster checkout for card payment only, 80% of respondents would use it, with 47% using it every time and 33% when the cash line is too long.
• Respondents aged 18-34 are more likely to utilize online ordering, pick up in store and home delivery. More than four in 10 (42%) members of this group stated that home delivery would make shopping at a c-store more convenient.
• When asked if the presence of an available self-checkout option would change their decision to abandon a purchase due to a long line at the checkout, 79% of 18- to 24-year-old respondents answered yes, compared to 34% over the age of 65.
In addition, 18- to 24-year-old respondents shopped at c-stores more than any other age group, citing that they shop at convenience stores more than online, grocery and drug stores.
The findings are the results from an online survey of 1,000 shoppers, ages ranging from 18 to 65-plus.