C-stores are a backbone in the travel world and as they have adapted over the years, so have consumer expectations and demands. For those who are always on the go, life wouldn’t be the same without convenience, and c-stores know that’s the key to unlocking the best experience. With brands diversifying their offering and many big-box retailers carrying the same products, c-stores have to look at why their customers are changing and how best to live up to their growing standards. Here’s a look at a few of the c-store trends redefining convenience.
Repurposing a Classic
Wawa is changing the way we shop convenience. In January, they launched their first drive-thru-only concept, enabling customers to shop at maximum efficiency. Wawa’s adaptation expands what they can offer to their customers and gives them direct opportunity to handle their needs with ease. With digital integration allowing for curbside pick-up, guests can get their products in a matter of seconds.
Data-driven retail is opening the door for unique brand partnerships and themed environments. Groupe Casino, a French convenience retailer, partnered with Matcha to create a wine shopping experience in c-store format. Loaded with personal communications to get to know each guest, La Nouvelle Cave uses data to develop detailed recommendations for each customer. Suggestions are segmented by price, product, recent purchases, and flavor profiles. To aid the shopper, this concept uses a lighting system that helps guide guests through their wine selection. Each guest is given a color specific to them, which is then illuminated in different areas of the store for optimal convenience.
We’re entering an era where c-stores are a choice not just a convenient option. With a lifestyle approach the best are looking beyond the shelf and into the homes of their shoppers. Our partners at Choice Market recently launched their store of the future, reinventing convenience entirely. Together, we designed a space that takes inspiration from the worlds of grocery and restaurant, with the outfit of a c-store format. Choice Market makes life simple with groceries, made-to-order meals, locally sourced foods, digital integration, and so much more. Environmental concerns and community connection are placed high in importance, providing a wholistic position for this purpose-driven brand. It’s the “we” mentality we expect other brands will strive to emulate.
For the future of c-stores, shopping will be about accessibility, product offer, and personalization. The door is open for disruption, but a one size fits all approach won’t satisfy demands. Forward-thinking strategies will help retailers gain an edge against competition and beyond traditional norms of convenience.