Fuel retailers need to switch from being offer led and product based, and free themselves from traditional practices. How? To unlock value, fuel retailers need to be:
Fuel retailers need to engage consumers in the moments that matter. They must become part of the consumer’s whole journey, offering hyper-convenience alongside savings in time and money. This may mean helping long distance truck drivers by providing somewhere they can easily park off the highway or take a shower, eat and relax. Or it may be offering safe and secure apps so that consumers can stay in their vehicles and avoid having to swipe their credit cards (and risk any incidence of fraud). Such offerings are dedicated to meeting consumer needs with intelligent retail solutions that are underpinned by technology, automation and data.
If we assume that few consumers are transactionally loyal, making use of external data (such as third-party mobile data) can have tremendous value. By “joining the dots” on their data to better understand consumers and adopt new ways of working, fuel retailers can create new opportunities for growth.
- How do we better compete for each and every transaction?
- How do we build an actionable data asset with real insight into the consumer journey?
- How do we transform the business to realize value fast?
Preparing to be a fuel retailer in the future means being able to compete for a larger “share of life”—where a greater percentage of consumers’ needs are addressed (see Figure 1). While they should continue being a fuel stop with some convenience shopping, fuel retailers need to boost consumer engagement and experience—becoming a destination of choice to serve many aspects of everyday life.
Exploring territories around how fuel retailing could be experience based might include a number of different avenues. Fuel retailers could take a closer look at fast refueling, become a convenient place to work and meet, or provide facilities so that consumers can enhance their wellbeing alongside serving their fuel needs. Or the gas station could play a role as the ultimate convenience store—a source of fresh and healthy food options or where consumers can pick up preordered groceries and collect or return items.
- How could we better automate our filling stations for fast and easy refueling?
- How do we drive brand preference, increase in-store traffic and sales and build loyalty?
- How can we use digital technologies to design our fuel stations for the age of hyper-convenience?