Shoppers have become confused over what to expect from forecourts and it’s likely to be costing the industry footfall and sales,according to Mike Greene, CEO at him! research & consulting.

Speaking at the IGD Convenience on the Forecourt conference Mike revealed, “The increasing amount of segmentation within forecourts is leading to increasing confusion amongst customers.  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 anymore.”

According to over 6,000 forecourt shoppers interviews as part of the Convenience Tracking Programme (CTP), 12% didn’t know alcohol was sold in-store; 18% didn’t know about the hot drinks available; 20% had no idea there was a cash machine, suggesting there are clear opportunities to increase awareness of what categories are available in different store formats.  

“It’s important that forecourts really optimize their external communication so that shoppers and potential shoppers are crystal clear on what the offer is – what they are promising the customer who enters the store” says Mike Greene.

The research also showed that 5% of shoppers leave a forecourt having failed to buy something they intended to buy.  The top three reasons given were ‘product was out of stock’, ‘I couldn’t find it’ or ‘it’s not stocked here’.  Mike points out “this further highlights that shoppers are unsure of which products and shopping occasions customers can trust different forecourt formats for.”  

him! research & consulting interviews 28,000 convenience shoppers every year as part of the Convenience Tracking Programme (CTP).