retail strategy

The "new normal" isn't really normal at all. Life amid COVID-19 has forced U.S. consumers to adopt new behaviors, dramatically impacting how they shop, work and go about their daily lives. Trips to the grocery store are now once weekly trips to buy essentials and stock the pantry for home cooking. And, vulnerable consumers now rely on online ordering and delivery services they were once reluctant to try.

On average, it takes 66 days for new behaviors to become automatic. The majority of U.S. consumers will cross that milestone under pandemic restrictions very soon. Retailers should prepare now to successfully serve their customers after the "COVID curve."

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The second annual dunnhumby Retailer Preference Index for the Convenience Channel explores the $654.3 billion US convenience market. The study focuses on:

  • What drives customer preference for convenience stores?
  • Which retailers are winning and losing? And why?
  • What can c-store retailers do to improve performance and win more trips?

Existing ranking methods focus primarily on retail growth based on store counts and revenue size, without linking growth to emotional or financial performance. We have a different perspective, one that focuses on the consumer and their emotional connection to the various retailers within the Convenience channel. Our study surveyed nearly 7,000 US consumers to uncover how they think and feel about c-stores, and how they shop them to understand how Customers perceive Quality, Convenience and Price, and how these perceptions affect both the emotional connection and financial performance.

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