In 2014 Shell commissioned extensive research into consumer behaviour and expectations in four segments in convenience retail (fuel, convenience, technology and fashion).
The research examined the shopper behaviour of 6000 consumers across China, Germany, South Africa, Turkey, USA and the UK. 35 qualitative interviews with retail experts and business leaders were also undertaken.
The research uncovered a number of important findings:
1. The Gap: There is a significant gap between what consumers want and what they are receiving. Convenience retailers need to find a way to bridge this gap.
2. The Four Pillars – Efficient and high quality customer service, a variety of payment methods, a seamless omni-channel experience, and great partnerships delivering quality products.
These are the driving forces behind competition in convenience retail.
3. Time: In a fast paced world, time is in short supply. However, the amount of time consumers are prepared to spend in a store depends on the sector. For example in fuel retail, consumers are prepared to spend 1-5 minutes in the store, in contrast to technology stores where they will spend up to 26+ minutes.
Learning how to use this time effectively will be the key to convenience retailers’ success.
4. Convenience Cravers: This group (the millennials) represent 27% of consumers globally and are aged 25 – 34. They are driving change in convenience because:
- They have larger than average disposable incomes
- They are highly connected and influential
- Act as brand advocates
Watch a video overview of the findings: