Data from PDI Technologies and GasBuddy show how rising fuel prices impact convenience retail spending
ATLANTA, GEORGIA, March 30, 2023 (PRNewswire) – PDI Technologies, a global leader delivering powerful solutions and insights that serve as the backbone of the convenience retail and petroleum wholesale ecosystem, today released its latest foot traffic report, “Tracking Convenience Report: From the Pump to the C-Store,” an analysis of key findings in the convenience retail and fuel market.
The report encompasses data from PDI and GasBuddy—a PDI company and the leading fuel savings platform—dating back to 2017 and analyzing overall footfall rates, in-store dwell time, consumer ratings impact on footfall, fuel price impact on footfall, and in-store category trends from 2022. The deep assessment also provides key takeaways for retailers and CPG brands, along with actionable opportunities to improve business results, such as tools to optimize fuel pricing, understand foot traffic by time of day, and optimize staffing schedules. The data reflect on evolving consumer behaviors in the store and at the pump—including how each part of the convenience experience plays a crucial role in creating a holistic customer experience.
Key insights from the report include:
- Inflation makes an impact. An analysis of convenience store trends throughout 2022 shows that sales growth in dollars was primarily driven by increases in average item price, with spending per basket up 3.0% and average units per basket down 3.9%.
- Post-COVID, the role of c-stores has become a retail location for extreme efficiency. Today, most shoppers spend under five minutes in the c-store. This creates opportunities for the industry to increase dwell time with evolved offerings like advanced foodservice, secure Wi-Fi, and more—especially as c-stores attract the growing number of EV charging consumers.
- Shoppers expect an excellent physical experience. For example, an above-average rating in outdoor lighting led to a 5.3% increase in foot traffic, while a below-average rating in the same category caused a proportionately higher (8.5%) decrease in traffic.
“For convenience store retailers, understanding how and why consumer behavior is continually evolving is vital to keeping a business afloat,” says Patrick De Haan, Head of Petroleum Analysis at GasBuddy. “As gas prices have remained volatile, our analysis shows that foot traffic has continued to stay consistent and even rise, with a dip and then readjustment of purchasing behaviors. Convenience store owners can use this data to understand how the fuel market is overtly impacting their business, so they can make better decisions that maximize margins.”
“Interestingly enough, it’s a common assumption that almost everything about consumer behavior has changed in the past few years. Our findings reveal that foot traffic habits, including time of day at the pump and popular days of the week, have not shifted much since pre-pandemic,” says Greg Crow, PDI Technologies VP of Insights. “Analyzing how fuel prices influence in-store trips and consumer shopping habits can help convenience store operators make more meaningful engagements with their customers.”
To learn more about the latest consumer behavior trends, please find the full “Tracking Convenience Report: From the Pump to the C-Store” online.
About PDI Technologies
With 40 years of industry leadership, PDI Technologies, Inc. resides at the intersection of productivity and sales growth, delivering powerful solutions that serve as the backbone of the convenience retail and petroleum wholesale ecosystem. By “Connecting Convenience” across the globe, we empower businesses to increase productivity, make informed decisions, and engage faster with their customers. From large-scale ERP and logistics operations to loyalty programs and cybersecurity, we’re simplifying the industry supply chain for whatever comes next. Today, we serve over 200,000 locations worldwide with solutions like the Fuel Rewards® program and GasBuddy®, two popular brands representing more than 20 million active users. Visit the PDI Technologies website.
GasBuddy is the leading fuel savings platform providing North American drivers with the most ways to save money on gas. GasBuddy has delivered more than $3.5 billion in cumulative savings to its users through providing real-time gas price information at 150,000+ stations, offering cash back rewards on purchases with brand partners, and through the Pay with GasBuddy™ payments card that offers cents-off per gallon at virtually all gas stations across the U.S. As one of the most highly rated apps in the history of the App Store, GasBuddy has been downloaded over 100 million times. Acquired by PDI Technologies in 2021, GasBuddy’s publishing and software businesses enable the world’s leading fuel, convenience, QSR, and CPG companies to shorten the distance between the fueling public and their brands. Visit the GasBuddy website.
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