Generation Search

Generation Search

January 2023

Different generations search for convenience stores in markedly different ways, according to the annual NACS Convenience Voices study, conducted July to September 2022. Overall, 21.1% of shoppers surveyed used a digital device to find the location they were currently shopping. That is up from 18.7% in the 2021 study.

Broken out by generation, Gen Z and millennial shoppers both indexed over the average, with 28.2% of Gen Z and 23.5% of millennial shoppers using digital search. The survey results show a prominent trend line across generations— younger generations are more likely to use digital search.

Breaking down digital search by device also shows generational trends. For all generations, a mobile device was the predominant search platform at 78.9%. Boomers were more likely than the other age groups to search via mobile device at 90.0%, followed by millennials at 82.7%. Besides a mobile phone, boomers also were more likely to use a laptop for search than any other generation. Both Gen X and Gen Z over-indexed all shoppers in search via a car navigation system, 12.2% and 11.7%, respectively, while Gen X shoppers were more like than any other generation to use a tablet for search.

Showing up in search where and when your customers are looking is a critical component of digital marketing in convenience. NACS has developed a solution called THRIVR to assist convenience retailers in honing in their digital presence to maximize how they show up online. Designed especially for c-stores, THRIVR is an integrated social media, reputation and listings management solution that helps you gain new customers, retain the ones you have and build basket size. To learn more, visit


NACS Convenience Voices is packed with valuable, proprietary insights you can only get from NACS. Leveraging the ubiquity of mobile technology enables more precise targeting, expanded geographic reporting, powerful multimedia feedback and more. Visit to learn how to participate.