CPGs Plus Mobile Phones Seek Convenience Stores

The 4th annual State of the Industry, by Koupon Media, focuses on mobile offers and the rise of the convenience industry. The report dives into how e-commerce and shifts in consumer behavior (such as immediate consumption) are shaping the retail industry as a whole, giving way to tremendous opportunity for the convenience industry.

2017 was a big year in the world of c-store mobile offers. As other retail categories face new threats from online shopping and shifting consumer preferences, c-store retailers, and the CPG brands that sell products within them, are seeing real results from mobile offer campaigns.

  • Online shopping and changing consumer preferences continue to present challenges for the grocery industry.
  • An increase in c-store locations and positive trends in share of wallet show that c-store has a bright future in retail.
  • Mobile offers produce highly effective results in c-stores, presenting an opportunity for marketers.
  • CPG brands are looking for new areas of growth and they are beginning to focus more on convenience stores.
  • As e-commerce gains traction, shoppers are making more immediate needs trips to convenience stores.

2017 proved to be another year of change for the grocery industry. Due to an increasing shift to online shopping and changing consumer preferences, grocers in the United States are facing new and growing challenges. Average weekly trips to grocery stores have declined or remained stagnant for the past few years, revenue growth is slowing, and shoppers were less loyal to supermarkets in 2017 than any year prior. These trends are causing many experts to worry out-loud about the category’s future. 

Weekly Grocery Trips Continue To Decline








Grocery Trips







One of the contributing factors to grocery’s challenges is online ordering. By 2025, it’s expected that up to 20% of the more than $600 billion annual grocery spend will occur online. This is being driven by new generations of shoppers like millennials, 43% of whom used online channels for grocery purchases in 2017.

% Of Grocery Spending Occurring Online











It’s not e-commerce alone that’s hurting grocery sales, says the report, but an overall shift in how consumers want to shop. In a world of mobile ordering and home delivery, today’s shoppers have developed new expectations and as more is purchased online, the future of brick and mortar retailers as a whole remains in question.

The solution for these retailers may lie in use cases that are harder for online retailers to meet, one of which is shopping trips focused on immediate needs. And the category that might be best positioned to address immediacy is the convenience store, a format designed for high volume, on-the-go shopping trips.

61% Percent Of Shopping Trips Driven By Immediate Needs

44% Of Consumers Say They Are Visiting C-Stores More Often

The rise of the C-Store’s ability to augment online shopping with immediate needs purchases appears to be playing out in the market. In 2017, c-stores expanded their footprint while more grocery stores closed than were even opened. With over 154,000 locations, the c-store industry today operates more than one-third of the total brick and mortar retail stores in the United States.

While a massive increase in online spending is expected to take a toll on share of wallet dedicated to grocery retailers, c-store remains as one of the only brick and mortar retail categories expected to grow, says the report. 

154,958 Convenience Stores In The United States In 2017

$233b Sales From In-Store C-Store Purchases In 2016

The growth of c-store presents a new opportunity for CPG brands, many of which are searching for new growth to combat challenges in grocery. Many CPG marketers are taking another look at brick and mortar retail, with many shifting traditional marketing spend in grocery and mass towards higher growth retail categories like convenience stores.

$182b Spent On CPG Products At C-Stores In 2016

160m Customers Served By C-Stores Every Day

Cpg Products Are The Majority Of C-Store Sales

78% Sales in C-Stores from CPG Brands in 2016



Packaged Beverages


Snacks & Candy








Source: Koupon Media, March 2018

As shoppers turn from grocery towards e-commerce and convenience store retailers, CPG brands are being forced to explore new ways to market products to customers. With an emphasis on convenience and immediate consumption, c-stores and CPGs that sell products within them are turning to mobile offers as a crucial marketing tool, says the report.

As brick and mortar chains shift value structure to immediate consumption purchases, mobile offers provide an excellent way to reach customers online and drive them into a c-store for trial, awareness, and immediate use.

Each day convenience stores serve over 160 million customers. If the rise of convenience stores reflects a shift in the way consumers are shopping, it’s important for marketers to understand who they are. 

Millennials Flock to Convenience Stores …Convenience Store Shoppers By Age

Under 18


19 - 29








Source: Koupon Media, March 2018


Millennials may be shopping online for groceries more than any other demographic, but for immediate consumption purchases, convenience stores have emerged as the natural fit. Millennials now account for over one-third of all c-store shoppers, with 16% of them visiting a convenience store daily. These physical trips are heavily influenced by digital and today 84% of millennials use their phones in store for shopping assistance, says the report.

Summarizing, the report notes that the c-store industry is growing and mobile offers are playing an important role. Online shopping and changing consumer preferences have led convenience stores to be the only brick and mortar vertical expected to grow share of wallet through 2021. Koupon’s platform and redemption network have witnessed these trends in its own metrics. With 3 billion offers delivered and 50% annual campaign growth, says the report, it’s clear that mobile offers in convenience stores have a bright future.

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