2016 has so far been a year of significant change in convenience retail. Convenience multiples (+10.6%) and supermarket multiples (+4.0%) grew the fastest of any convenience sector players, growing by almost 13,000 stores to date, while over 18,000 unaffiliated convenience stores closed.
Add to this the regulatory backdrop of challenging legislation such as sugar tax, pressure to implement the living wage and debates over Sunday trading, and the landscape for convenience retailers is certainly tumultuous. With this in mind, it is more important than ever for convenience stores to stay ahead of the game by adapting to meet changing expectations and consumer demands.
Most notably there is scope to do this in the field of technological innovation, with PayPoint looking to arm retailers with the latest card payment technologies, including contactless, to keep up with shopper demands.
2016’s omni-channel shopping trends
One of the most significant trends of H1 2016 identified in him! CTP research is that customers have maintained an omni-channel approach that began in the run-up to Christmas last year, with a major increase in “promiscuous” shopping behaviour when compared to the same period 2015. As a result, customer experience is central to retaining consumers, and convenience stores will have to adapt and develop their offering to continue attracting customers.
In-store user experience demands
When questioned about user experience priorities, ease of shop and speed of service featured in the top five most important considerations from convenience shoppers, according to him! CTP research. These considerations outweigh availability and even prices, underlining the importance of streamlining processes such as payment for retail outlets. Being able to process financially inclusive payment methods including online, offline, cash and digital, credit and contactless, and digital wallets such as Apple Pay can create a strong differential for your convenience retail offering. PayPoint has enabled 10,000 stores to process Apple Pay through the service, enabling faster and more secure payments for service providers and retailers.
Regional innovation attitudes
Retailers should also take a regional approach to the rollout of innovation, prioritising certain geographical areas in order to maximise footfall increases and grow basket size. him! CTP research shows that a majority of shoppers in Scotland (53%) and London (78%) are looking for innovative/new products or solutions when in store, whereas those in Wales (22%) and the South West (35%) are less interested in constant innovation to a convenience store’s offering and procedures. It makes most sense to provide innovation in areas where demand for it is highest, thereby ensuring maximum return for you as a retailer.
With so much investment from convenience retailers focused on driving traffic into stores through signage, promotions, marketing and advertising, retailers must make sure their in-store user experience is best-in-class to ensure customer retention. In a post-digital world, PayPoint offers retailers a number of ways to improve their offering to shoppers, increasing the likelihood of repeat custom and reaping the profitability and growth rewards that this brings.
For more information, visit https://paypoint.com
(A Retail Times’ sponsored article)