Data-Driven Convenience: How Insights Influence C-Store Strategies

Amazon, Netflix, Starbucks. What makes these brands leaders in their category?

In an increasingly digital world, data that leads to market insights and analytics is essential for businesses that want to navigate the ever-changing consumer environment. However, the brands that can act on that data in real time tend to dominate their category.

Fueled by actionable data, a real-time implementation strategy, and industry-wide insights, convenience stores and CPG brands can better reach consumers with compelling, relevant product and service offerings to boost revenue and continue building customer loyalty.

Actionable data drives opportunity

In shaping a competitive data strategy, the difference between awareness and action is critical. For instance, brands with 250 to 1000 fuel stations are part of what we call the “Goldilocks Zone.” They’re small enough to serve unique geographical needs but large enough to enjoy strong brand equity. They also tend to have more freedom in managing their gas prices.

With consumers becoming increasingly sensitive to high prices, a trend that is expected to continue throughout 2023, this level of flexibility is critical. For instance, it’s helpful for a business to be aware of consumer price sensitivity and also know that they’re in the right pricing range, but these insights become valuable when the business can combine them and act upon them quickly.

Businesses can also monetize the Goldilocks Zone by reaching consumers through tools like GasBuddy Listings Management. After putting themselves on consumers’ radars, brands can earn customer loyalty by offering highly relevant products and loyalty programs.

Ultimately, businesses achieve their Goldilocks status—and relevance—not just by being in that sweet spot, but by leveraging their position with strategic action.

Real-time data, real-time responses

Relevance is the intersection of offering the right products (or services) at the right time, at the right price. Brands that use shopper insights to target their customers with relevant promotions typically see increased basket spend, customer loyalty, and brand affinity.

One of the most reliable indicators of purchase habits is routines. Insights from PDI show that the 2 pm to 6 pm daypart on Thursdays and Fridays is the most popular time slot for shoppers to visit convenience stores. In developing relevant offerings, businesses can use time of day data to either incentivize traffic during non-peak times or to increase basket spend during peak times.

Having access to live data is one key way convenience stores can monitor the success of their promotions and quickly adjust their strategy. Real-time data can also lead to businesses leveraging much larger cultural and economic shifts. How, why, and what shoppers purchase all changes depending on what’s happening in the world around them—and savvy businesses can reach those shoppers faster and more effectively. 

In the age of social media, product trends rise—and fall—faster than ever. To capture profits from popular products or categories, c-stores and CPG brands need current, precise information and the digital tools to respond in real time.

Site-level tools and insights

The right mix of store-specific data points and industry-wide trends can support the most comprehensive approach to data analytics and strategy. For instance, PDI’s flexible enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution uses real-time regional and industry data to help businesses identify smarter management strategies.

Businesses can leverage site-level data to streamline day-to-day management tasks. Whether they automate routine processes or eliminate unnecessary or low-payoff tasks, data-driven store strategies are more time- and cost-efficient.

Timely data can also help businesses avoid issues that could negatively impact their reputation.  In fact, PDI convenience store data indicates that negative customer ratings have a much higher impact on store footfall than their positive counterparts. With GasBuddy’s Reputation Management tool, convenience stores can aggregate customer reviews and quickly identify and address any concerns that potentially threaten footfall. Sometimes, unexpected factors—such as poorly rated coffee—lead to a fast and easy fix that can help restore footfall rates.

Discover the PDI difference

PDI insights are the result of analyzing billions of customer records and billions of dollars in receipt-level transaction data and loyalty program transactions. That level of robust, real-time data can empower businesses to act proactively—and preemptively—rather than reactively. That competitive advantage is often the difference between being an industry leader rather than a follower.

When c-stores and CPG brands have the right data-driven insights they can act on, they can deliver timely, relevant offerings to their customers—ultimately building brand loyalty and higher profitability.

Download “Tracking Convenience Report: From the Pump to the C-Store” to get the consumer data and trends that will impact your business in 2023 and beyond.

You can thrive in today’s digital economy. Contact us today to learn how we can help you transform your business.