Welcome to our Koupon News Update series, where we share news and trends that are shaping the convenience store industry! In this week's update, learn about Koupon Media and GSTV's new partnership, new frictionless retail concepts, and GasBuddy's research on consumer preferences.
C-Store Retailer Trends
Summer Sales at C-stores Trigger Optimism
- A nationwide survey of U.S. c-store owners conducted by NACS found that 72% of convenience retailers experienced in-store sales increase in the first nine months of 2018 compared to the same time last year. More than half (52%) said their fuel sales increased compared to last year.
- "The strong sales this year are causing optimism among retailers: 87% are optimistic about their business prospects for the next quarter; 87% are optimistic about the industry prospects, and 85% are optimistic about the overall economy’s prospects. All three optimism measures are at record highs for the NACS Retailer Sentiment Survey.
- Insight: Retailers are optimistic about the c-store industry, and will be looking for new ways to grow at this year's NACS show in Vegas.
Koupon Media Partners with GSTV to Deliver Mobile Offers at the Pump
- Koupon Media is excited to announce a new partnership with GSTV, the national video network reaching targeted audiences across tens of thousands of fuel retailers, to deliver mobile offers at the pump through digital signage advertisements. By allowing brands and retailers to deliver in-store redeemable offers across a national video network, the two companies have essentially created a new consumer engagement model for the c-store space.
- The GSTV team is excited to close the loop on digital signage promotions. “Not only do redeemable offers make digital video content more compelling, but CPG brands and retailers will now have access to a more complete view of the shopper, from the delivery of the offer at-the-pump to the redemption at the POS inside the c-store” said Dan Trotzer, EVP, Strategy at GSTV.
- Insight: Stop by the Koupon Media booth #6111 to check out the new partnership and demo the technology.
6 Frictionless Concepts
- Suddenly, no-checkout and frictionless concepts are popping up across the United States. Six separate companies have either launched or announced plans to launch a store with some sort of streamlined shopping experience in the past month.
- The real issue that will dictate the popularity frictionless stores is customer adoption. If people decide the risk of surveillance and automation is worth the ease of shopping without waiting in line, it will only be a matter of time before cashiers become the new gas station attendants—a largely abandoned relic of the past.
- Insight: Everybody from c-stores to the Valley's hottest tech companies are tackling frictionless checkout. Skip will be at the Koupon Media NACS booth #6111 to demo this exciting tech!
NOCO Express Taps Paytronix for Loyalty Relaunch
- NOCO has launched a Patronix-powered loyalty program for its NOCO Express convenience stores.
- “The new NOCO Friends & Family program gives us a simpler and more effective way to connect with members, engaging them with special offers that get them into the store. It also allows us to thank our customers for their loyalty,” said Jim DeFilippis, vice president and general manager for NOCO Express. “We didn’t want an ordinary plug-and-play loyalty program like everyone else. We wanted a program that is better than our competitors’ and unique enough that they wouldn’t want to copy it. Paytronix created a real opportunity for us.”
- Insight: Paytronix, one of Koupon Media's partners, is growing rapidly in the c-store industry.
Amazon Could Open 3,000 C-stores
- On the heels of unveiling its first Amazon Go store in Chicago this week, Amazon.com Inc. is now considering scaling up with as many as 3,000 new cashierless Amazon Go stores, Bloomberg reports.
- Adding 3,000 stores to its brand would make Amazon one of the largest c-store chains in the United States. Such an aggressive expansion would be expensive just from a construction standpoint, and stores’ operation costs—including the required cameras and monitoring equipment—would be high as well.
- Insight: With Amazon's aggressive growth plans for Amazon Go, there is no telling how the new concept will change the c-store industry.
Consumer Preferences: From Forecourt to Backcourt
- Consumers’ most common reason for not entering the store? There’s no need, according to three-quarters of survey participants. The next two most popular reasons: Consumers believe items inside the store are too expensive (39%), and they don’t have time (24%).
- Among the frequent c-store visitors—those who entered the store on at least half of their fueling visits—more than 82% said store design and upkeep influenced their opinion of the store either moderately or strongly. Lighting, which communicates safety, and cleanliness of the fuel island tied at 79.7%.
- When asked which mobile-phone promotions were most influential on their decision to visit a c-store, 18- to 34-year-olds were nearly 10 points more likely than all respondents to be strongly influenced by fuel loyalty rewards. Women were 10 points more likely than men to consider loyalty rewards or redeemable coupons as strong influencers.
- Insight: There are hundreds of factors driving customer behavior in the c-store industry.