In order to meet changing customer expectations, many convenience stores have recently undertaken major efforts to become more sustainable. However, because communication of these efforts is often overlooked by c-store operators, many of these implementations remain unseen and unacknowledged by shoppers.
A key reason for the disconnect in communication of sustainability efforts among c-stores is the inability to connect with today’s shoppers in a way that resonates with their values. Convenience Store Customers and Sustainability, the newest study from the NACS/Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council, examines the issues shoppers see as most important and suggests how operators can best tackle and communicate their efforts to help solve them.
In order for c-store shoppers to become frequent customers, they must understand the positive impact the store is having on their community and subsequently, the positive efforts and programs the store implements that actively help the environment. If c-stores take the time to tell how they are leading within sustainability, these frequent shoppers often become store promoters, who champion a c-store and drive traffic from their circle of family and friends.
Operators can use a variety of methods to communicate their sustainability endeavors. Strategies such as traditional in-store signs and flyers to more modern methods such as smartphone apps, loyalty programs and electronic communication with frequent shoppers all can be used to amplify the sustainability message.
While traditional methods of communication are extremely important, it is also essential to meet shoppers where they interact most often. Social media and other online platforms give the benefit of reaching customers who are actively seeking information on sustainability, which can create a strong connection.
The entire study, including strategies on how c-stores can effectively communicate sustainability efforts, can be downloaded for free: