Despite the waning popularity of brick-and-mortar stores in general, convenience stores have been able to keep sales relatively strong, according to a recent report from Nielsen. But future tech innovations might be able to cut into that business a bit, just as online stores have been able to take over a significant amount of business from traditional retail stores. So how many consumers currently shop at convenience stores regularly? And are their shopping habits likely to change at all in the future? We asked 1,000 respondents about their thoughts on convenience stores and how online shopping might impact those purchases in the future.
In Ask Your Target Market’s latest online survey, 9% of respondents said they shop at convenience stores daily. 34% do so a few times per week. 26% go to convenience stores a few times per month. 9% go a few times every three months. 10% do so a few times per year. 6% go less often than once a year. And just 5% said they never shop at convenience stores.
According to Personality Radar, those who shop at convenience stores at least a few times per week are likely to be young, casual consumers. They tend to have interests like sports and video games. And they aren’t likely to really plan out many of their purchases.
Of those who shop at convenience stores at least on occasion, 80% said they normally buy snack foods. 53% buy packaged beverages. 48% buy coffee. 35% buy other types of food items. 26% buy cigarettes from convenience stores. And 25% buy alcoholic beverages.
In addition, 86% of convenience store shoppers said they choose to patronize those businesses because of, well, convenience. 28% choose to shop at convenience stores because of the prices. 26% like the variety of items available. And 15% said they just have a lack of other options.
When it comes to last-minute purchases in general, it seems that grocery stores edge out convenience stores for the most popular spot. 66% of consumers said that they would go to a grocery store if they needed to make a last-minute purchase. 50% said they would head to the nearest convenience store. 23% said they would go to a retail store. And just 12% said they would order online and just get rush shipping.
Overall, just 4% of respondents said they shop online pretty much every day. 18% do so a few times per week. 18% do so a few times per week. 44% shop online a few times per month. 20% do so a few times every three months. 11% do so a few times per year. 2% shop online less often than once per year. And just 1% said they never shop online.
More specifically, 32% of respondents said that they have purchased snack food items online. 30% have bought other types of food items online. 23% have bought beverages online. Just 5% have ordered cigarettes online. And 55% said that they’ve never purchased any of those convenience items online.
Looking forward, 43% of respondents said they are at least somewhat likely to purchase convenience items like food and drinks online within the next year. And 57% said they would be likely to order those convenience types of items online more often if they could order them and get them delivered within a day.
Overall, it seems likely that convenience store sales are going to remain strong, at least in the short term. Since the people who shop there simply go there for last minute purchases, convenience stores aren’t as affected by online shopping as other types of retail stores. However, future innovations like drone delivery could potentially put a larger dent into convenience store sales if it leads to online shoppers being able to get their orders quickly. So convenience stores could potentially combat that by adding even more convenience aspects like loyalty programs or even delivery options. But for now the casual consumers who shop at convenience stores regularly seem unlikely to change their habits in a major way.
You can view the complete survey results in the widget below and be sure to click “Open Full Report” to take advantage of all the chart and filter options.
What do you want to know? If you need some consumer insights on a particular topic, let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider it for an upcoming survey post.
Results were collected on May 22 via AYTM’s online survey panel.