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Retail Intelligence

Research Reveals C-Store Impulse Shopping Habits

By Publications Checkout
Research Reveals C-Store Impulse Shopping Habits

Research conducted last month by Out of Home agency Kinetic, in conjunction with Group M, has found that convenience store shoppers are heavily influenced by the role of advertising on the path to purchase.

While the research revealed some interesting shopping habits when it comes to impulse purchases, the top three products that were bought were unsurprisingly milk, bread and confectionery.

The research used a combination of eye-tracking technology and interviews to determine the shopping habits of a selection of 200 c-store shoppers. Fifty shoppers were intercepted before entering the store, and asked to wear eye-tracking glasses that measured point of gaze, length of gaze and eye pupil fixation at various points during the shop.

Furthermore, 150 shoppers were asked to take a virtual visit to a convenience store by watching video footage of a typical shop from the shopper’s perspective.

The research found that out of home advertising has a bigger influence on those who enter the store without a definite idea of what they will purchase.


Those who entered the store with a product or products in mind, however, had a much shorter path to purchase and responded to in-store advertising in particular.

61% of those who wore the eye-tracking device admitted to purchasing an item on impulse, with more than a third of these purchases being sweets or chocolate. For those that did purchase on impulse, it accounted to 38% (€3.18) of the overall spend (€8.30).

Commenting on the research, Grainne Dilleen, Communications Director at Kinetic, said; Using the latest in research methodologies, we uncovered that 86% of shoppers were able to correctly recall one or more of the formats from their shopping trip, showing real impact. Advertising was seen to be influential particularly to impulse purchasers, with 14% claiming that advertising influenced them to purchase.”

Convenience Shopping Habits Research Results:

68% of convenience shoppers shop at a convenience store to do a top-up shop, 64% to buy Meal Solutions and 42% for Special Treats.


Location is the most important factor in the choice of convenience store at 69%, followed by price at 31%.

10% of eye-tracked shoppers were influenced to stop and shop by an ad format.

Average spend at a convenience store is €8.30.

The average impulse spend is €3.18.

Average spend rises in the evening time – 28% will spend more than €20.


61% of eye-tracked respondents purchased an item on impulse.

38% of impulse purchases were sweets or chocolate.

© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Niall Swan

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