Almost 40 million Americans fill up their gas tanks every day. How they drive, consider gas prices and determine whether to shop inside a convenience store for food and beverages has a profound impact on the gas station industry. Here are some habits to take into consideration for your gas station business.
Gas Buying Behavior
Gas buying times vary by demographic. So, understanding your customer’s demographics and buying time can help you with your marketing strategy to improve sales.
Those most likely to purchase fuel in the morning are consumers ages 35 to 49, so there may be an opportunity for convenience stores to expand their breakfast food service to this segment of shoppers. While those 65 and up tend to purchase gas midday, which a campaign about slowing down to enjoy a snack might appeal to this demographic. The idea is to look at their habits and build marketing campaigns on what will appeal to them and add more sales to your gas station.
Price dominates where consumers choose to purchase fuel. With the rise of mobile apps, price checking for gas is easier for a potential customer. Most people want to find the best price, in fact, 2 out of 3 customers will choose a station based on price. However, price is less important to a person who shops inside a store and they will choose based on the convenience store or additional services offered.
The Quality of Store and Employees
The quality of the store’s food selection and employees’ influence where consumers choose to go.
It is said that 44% of gas customers also come inside the store. In-store sales make up two-thirds of a store’s overall profits, it is vital that customers buy additional things to fuel. Customers go in to buy food and beverages, however, other draws that bring them in are ATMs and restrooms. Once they are in the store, if you offer excellent choices in shopping or have deals, there is a higher chance that they will purchase.
Employee interaction and customer service can make or break any retailer. Gas stations are no exception. Focusing on your customer experience will make a difference in keeping customers returning to your location over others.
Experience at Gas Pumps
How a customer perceives their experience at the gas pumps will influence their decision on stopping at your location.
The appearance of your gas station outside is a consideration for getting return customers. Also, are the gas pumps fast pumping and in good condition? No customer wants to stop and fuel at a dirty slow fueling station. If your gas pumps or dispensers are old and not working like your competitions, it may be time to upgrade.
Safety is important to customers, whether it is lighting at night or safety of credit card terminals. For very early morning and late evening traffic, bad lighting will deter them from stopping. With all the worry of credit card skimming, feeling confident paying at the pump is a huge factor.
Studying Your Customers and Your Gas Station
While many of these habits and preferences are general, it would be worth the time to take note of your customers. What are their habits? What do they like or ask for? Is your business giving them the customer experience that will keep them returning? Looking at your demographics, their habits, and your station’s appearance and staff will help you make smart business decisions to improve your bottom line.