The retail fuel industry is showing signs of growth as the number of stations has increased the past couple of years. To stay competitive amid the changing marketplace, fuel retailers should pursue investments that could boost their margins. Here are a few strategies to consider:
Emerging fuels. Although we can’t foretell which alternative fuels will become mainstream, E15 and biodiesel, in particular, are showing signs of growth. Adding one or both of these fuels will likely attract new customers.
Marketing platforms. Media-rich dispensers drive in-store traffic. Proximity marketing systems, which utilize location technologies such as NFC or Bluetooth to engage customers on their smart devices, resonate with young consumers and yield high conversion rates.
Mobile payment technology. More consumers are utilizing a mobile wallet, with millennials and higher-income households leading the way. Diversifying your payment platforms may attract customers with more disposable income, reduce your site’s credit card fees and increase customer throughput.
Powerful software programs. Today’s back-office, fuel management and POS programs not only automate traditional bookkeeping and reporting procedures, they simplify data analysis. By presenting actionable information, they help managers reduce operating costs and increase profits.
Maximize branding. One study showed that stations leveraging corporate branding to present a familiar and tidy appearance increased customer loyalty. Aligning with a corporate partner that supports brand recognition could increase throughput.
Watch Fuel Marketer News for Source’s “Fueled for Thought” column to learn more about the outlook for station growth.