The 3-Minute Drill (Infographic)

Retailers and suppliers have a very narrow window for triggering purchases
convenience-store retail visit statistics

Three minutes: It’s the length of the average commercial break, and it’s a little more than the amount of time it takes you to brush your teeth. Unfortunately, it’s also the amount of time retailers and suppliers have to trigger sales inside the c-store.

The sixth annual VideoMining C-Store Shopper Insights (CSI), shared exclusively with CSP and Convenience Store Products magazines, revealed that the total time consumers spend inside a c-store rose 6%. But that increase still gives retailers only 2 minutes and 52 seconds to turn a shopper into a buyer.

The program used heat-mapping technology to track consumers’ shopping behavior at eight retail chains: Circle K, Thorntons, BP America’s ampm, Holiday Stationstores, Maverik, RaceTrac, Giant Eagle’s GetGo and Cumberland Farms. It took place across eight weeks in August and September 2014. This year, the stores saw weekly per-store revenue jump 10%, a 9% increase in average basket size and an 8% leap in average number of units sold over 2013 numbers.

Maria Correa, customer research analyst for Maverik Inc., North Salt Lake, Utah, says her chain has experienced the trend toward increased total store shopping time. “But we also have a faster checkout time. So that makes the total shopping time a little less than the panel. But that’s something we expected, because our operations team works hard to have it that way,” she says.

C-stores have improved their ability to draw shoppers inside the store and encourage them to make a purchase, according to the study results. Of the more than 17,000 customers per store per week who drove onto the c-store lot, 71% decided to enter the store. This marks a 5% increase from last year’s study.

Meanwhile, of that 71%—or more than 12,000 customers—60% made an in-store purchase, which is up 1% from the previous year.

On this page are highlights of the latest VideoMining CSI program. The results reveal nice strides, along with plenty more opportunities to leverage.