How to Draw Gen-Z into Your C-Store

Commercial Zone Blog

April 11, 2023

How to Draw Gen-Z into Your C-Store

How can convenience store owners ensure Gen Z chooses their specific store? Here are 3 ways to appeal to Gen Z.

Banana peel being placed in a compost trash container

A quick snack, a last-minute gift, a new phone charger… For Gen Z shoppers, none of these items alone warrant a trip to a big box store. Those in Gen Z (born between 1997-2012) make up nearly one-quarter of the U.S. population and were raised with technology, the first generation that hardly remembers a time before smartphones were in every pocket. Technology has trained this group of consumers to expect convenience, so it figures that when it comes to quick needs, Gen Z-ers are choosing convenience stores. In fact, 92% of Gen Z enjoys the experience convenience stores provide (compared to 77% of other generations). In addition to having a higher lifetime value, they also buy more—a lot more. Gen Z is twice as likely to buy 10 or more items from a C-store than other generations.

We know this younger generation is choosing C-stores. How can convenience store owners ensure Gen Z chooses their specific store? Here are 3 ways to appeal to Gen-Z.

Build, Showcase Your Brand

Branding is everywhere. We know Gen Z spends time on social media, and it should come as no surprise they are more likely to be swayed by something they saw on social. But branding goes beyond Instagram and TikTok. Ensure your in-store advertising creates an immersive, branded experience from signage to site furnishings. If a Gen Z shopper first engaged with a brand online, the experience provided in-store should mirror and enhance that same look and feel.

Convenience is Key, Variety is Vital

Gen Z is often on the go. They value their time and shop quickly and efficiently when possible. For store owners, it’s important to create a store that is clean, organized and easy to browse. Additionally, Gen Z is focused on clean and healthy products. Ensure your C-store carries more than the typical snack brands shoppers expect, including new, healthy snacks they can be excited about. If they can’t find what they are looking for at your store, they’re likely to go elsewhere.

Create a Clean, Eco-Friendly Space

In addition to clean eating, Gen Z also chooses to support more eco-friendly businesses. Ensure your C-store is clean and litter-free inside and out. By offering a multi-stream waste & recycling program at your C-store, you can reduce unsightly litter, spotlight your focus on recycling and compost, and appeal to the eco-forward Gen-Z shopper (and others, too).

Create a multi-stream waste and recycling system for your convenience store. Browse ready-to-ship stock options, personalized products and custom creations. Commercial Zone has the right receptacles for your team, your venue and your fans. Browse Commercial Zone products and learn more at Looking for guidance?  Call 800-782-7273 to chat with one of our experts.

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