What do US consumers do at gas stations other than refuel their cars?
October 3rd, 2023, Janice Fernandes

What do US consumers do at gas stations other than refuel their cars?

Through YouGov data we know the role that factors such as affordability and convenience play in consumer preferences of gas station brands and that nearly 40% of consumers switch stations occasionally due to gas quality concerns. But given the wide array of services available at gas stations in the US, focusing on fuel as the sole determinant of consumer choices might not be enough. In this article we examine the other features that consumers are likely to utilize during their fuel stops.

A plurality of US consumers say they typically purchase snacks or beverages from the gas station store when they stop by to refuel (58%). Nearly half of respondents use the restroom facilities (49%), while two-fifths clean their vehicle’s windows (39%).

Other actions US respondents typically take at gas stations include checking their phone (33%), taking a short walk (24%) and getting on a phone call (12%).

Promotions or contests at gas stations can also hold some sway with about one in 15 car owners/drivers saying they typically engage in these (6%). Just under a tenth of consumers say they typically use Wi-Fi services and sit down for a quick meal (8% each).

What do consumers usually buy at gas station stores?

A majority of consumers say they usually buy beverages (91%) and snacks (85%), roughly a third of them (33%) also purchase lottery tickets.

Ready-to-eat meals or sandwiches is also a popular choice with 32% of US car owners/drivers saying it’s what they typically purchase from the gas station store.

About a fifth of respondents say they purchase tobacco products (21%), while fewer than one in five buy car maintenance products (16%) and alcohol (15%).

Less than a tenth of consumers buy personal care products from a gas station store (8%).

Nearly half of the consumers (48%) who make purchases at the gas station store say they typically spend around $5 to $10 on items other than fuel during a single visit.

About a quarter of respondents (23%) say they spend around $10 to $20, and another tenth of consumers tend to spend more than $20 every time they stop by a gas station.

Fewer than a fifth of consumers spend less than $5 (18%).

Marketers can leverage these insights to effectively engage with gas station store shoppers and bolster their brand's presence in this specific retail environment.

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Methodology: YouGov polled 1,500 US car owners on September 13, 2023. The survey was carried out through YouGov Surveys: Self-serve. Data is weighted by age, gender, education level, region, and social grade. Results are nationally representative of adults in the United States. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Self-serve.

Image: Getty Images