Retailers should not be put off from introducing pay-at-pump fast lanes because of a fear of losing shop sales, according to latest findings from Harris International Marketing’s (HIM) Convenience Tracking Programme.

Tom Fender, chief operating officer of HIM, said: “Pay-at-pump offers a clear and obvious solution to busy consumers suffering from time starvation. The belief that bringing these rushed shoppers into the store will add incremental shop sales is not supported by the latest findings from our convenience tracking programme.”

According to the findings, 50% of customers driving onto a forecourt say they have no intention of buying anything in the shop, and CTP continues to highlight speed of service as the most important thing to fuel customers.

“Pay-at-pump would reduce queues by 50%, leading to quicker service and happier shoppers,” said Fender. “Studies in the USA have found that shop sales will increase when queues are reduced by allowing the fuel-only shoppers to complete their transaction without entering the store.

“We also know that consumers only use a couple of different forecourt shops in a typical week – and therefore gaining their loyalty when they are in a fuel-only mission helps secure their loyalty when they need or want something from the shop.

“With so much energy channelled into shop conversion, but with so little return, would it not be better for retailers to focus on selling more to existing shoppers than to convert a fuel-only shopper?”