Convenience store retailers think they are doing a better job than they actually are, new research shows.

The report by Him! on how to improve convenience over the next one to two years compared the views of shoppers against those of retailers - and unearthed a number of discrepancies.

Although 76% of retailers claimed they were competitive with supermarkets on fresh, just 36% of shoppers agreed. And although 88% of retailers said they could rival supermarkets in speed of service, just 59% of shoppers thought so.

Nearly all (92%) of retailers believed their customer service was better than the mults’. Only 73% of customers agreed.

The Forward to the Future research, unveiled at the ACS annual summit in Birmingham this week, also suggested retailers were spending too much time on community activities. It was rated as the 10th most important priority for c-stores by shoppers behind better promotions, ranges and availability.

“Twice as many consumers said they wanted associated products merchandised next to each other than for the the store to be the heart of the local community,” said Him! MD Tom Fender. “Consumers want retailers to focus on making their stores as easy as possible to shop so that they can get in and out quickly.”

The research also found 65% of shoppers had a smartphone and 66% were on Facebook, but just 19% of c-stores had a website. Some 40% of shoppers wanted their local c-store online.