The common thread for survival in this new omni-channel world: data and platforms that enable personalization and a seamless shopper experience. A consistent personalized experience drives customer engagement, boosts loyalty and ultimately grows topline growth and market share.

This starts with compiling solid customer data but there is work ahead to close the first-party data gap: A typical grocery or convenience chain is only able to collect volunteered PII (phone, email name, ZIP or address) for 51% its customers. On average, 33% join its loyalty program and 29% download its app (source: 2022 Acxiom MADTech Study). Club and some major national supermarket groups do far better while convenience and value chains often lag.

Though Gen Z and Millennials (most of whom are digital and social media natives) are more open to trade PII for a more relevant experience, retailers need to recognize and engage all customers, not only those joining loyalty programs. Talk to Acxiom about recognizing and enriching millions of shoppers through a modernized customer data capture program.

Capitalize on Changing Nourishment Needs

Working from home, or at least a hybrid work is here to stay. Convenience is not just about on-the-go consumption but also ready-to-heat, ready-to-eat, ready-to-cook meals prepared in-store or in ghost kitchens for delivery. In this inflationary and increasingly health-conscious environment, fresh food and meals are one of the few categories where many consumers are still willing to pay a premium because it remains a better value compared to eating out, while for many other categories value-conscious shoppers are migrating to private label brands. Talk to Acxiom on how to connect with these shoppers at scale.

Fulfill Growing Omni-channel Demand

Grocers and convenience stores aim to turn their frequent customer interaction into a seamless omni-channel experience across a growing ecosystem in order to grow their share of wallet. Although the transition to digital received a boost from the pandemic, close to 8 in 10 grocery orders are still made through traditional in-store trips so physical stores are far from vestiges of a bygone era. Conversely, stores are increasingly converted into fulfillment centers for pickup or delivery and non-store fulfillment centers are added to build reach cost-effectively.

Grocers need to continue to stimulate e-commerce demand after a pandemic peak, especially beyond urban centers, and are therefore pursuing the infrastructure, rich customer data and partnerships that enable personalized promotions and ultrafast ordering and delivery.

Monetize Customer Data with Ad Revenue

Retail Media Networks and Programmatic Marketplaces are a great way to leverage first-party data to strengthen CPG brand relationships while generating incremental revenue in the process. The benefits range from reducing a retailer’s own marketing expenses, and driving additional site traffic using CPG brand-funded campaigns to generating a full-blown new ad business. Whether the media network is built in-house or licensed, creating, managing and activating audiences on- and off-site is complex and requires the data management and enrichment capabilities of an experienced Martech advisor.

C-Stores: From Location to Relation

A convenience store is a 20+ year asset so it requires a deep understanding of long-term consumer and market trends. Consumers would make a pit stop and make use of the opportunity to buy tobacco, grab a snack or drink, buy a map or ask for directions.

The industry is facing new headwinds: the emergence of EV charging and the migration to virtual convenience stores. The migration from ICE vehicles to EVs has begun, and while the adoption of EVs will be a years-long process, the tipping point is now (read Acxiom’s detailed perspective: Navigating the Electric Vehicle Curve Ahead). With options to charge anywhere, impulse buying at dedicated fuel (fossil fuel or charging) stations will be severely impacted. Additionally, grocery delivery has evolved and now enables no-minimum online orders delivered by new start-up platforms in just 15-30 minutes. These digital apps monetize their large customer base effectively by running retail media networks.

Focusing on fresh and healthier food or transitioning to an EV charging station is not going to be sufficient to fight back. It will require a mental shift from location, location, location to relation, relation, relation. Indeed, convenience stores need to offer a unique, personalized experience to build long-term customer loyalty, which assumes you recognize your customers. This is where C-stores fall short. Acxiom estimates larger chains each have about 10 million unknown customers that could be identified and enriched, building the foundation for personalized interactions and a superior customer experience.