Many shoppers are confused about what to expect from forecourt stores and, as a result, it’s costing the industry footfall
and sales.That’s the verdict of research company Him’s chief executive officer Mike Greene.
Speaking at the recent IGD Convenience on the Forecourt conference, Greene said: "The increasing amount of segmentation within forecourts is leading to increasing confusion. We used to know exactly what to expect from a forecourt but they can now be anything from a small kiosk to a full-blown supermarket and customers are telling us they simply don’t know what to expect any more."
In a survey of more than 6,000 forecourt shoppers, as part of its Convenience Tracking Programme, Him found that 12% of people did not know that alcohol was sold in the particular forecourt they were visiting; 18% didn’t realise that hot drinks were available; and 20% had no idea that there was an ATM.
"This suggests that there are clear opportunities to increase awareness of what categories are available. It’s important that forecourts really optimise their external communication so that shoppers and potential shoppers are crystal clear about what the offer is."
Him’s research also found that 5% of shoppers leave a forecourt having failed to buy something they’d intended to buy. One of the main reasons for this was that it was out of stock.