Captive audiences, technology and evolving know-how lead to successful forecourt marketing programs. Here’s some advice on how to use all three to boost your forecourt retailing success.
1. Make your static environment as engaging as your digital one. A clean, well-lit store and forecourt all give people a reason to come back, increasing customer loyalty. Along with a wide range of snack, beverage and fresh food options, forecourt design has a large bearing on non-fuel sales volume. Customers tend to spend more at a gas station that has an open forecourt with sufficient pumps and fueling positions.
Also, the store layout should synergize with the forecourt. You want customers to be able to locate products quickly but also include services, signage and displays for items such as food and coffee that drive impulse purchases and extend customer visits.
2. Prioritize items based on their short- and long-term revenue potential. Foodservice, for instance, accounts for 21 percent of retail sales but contributes 34 percent of profits inside the store. If your gas station sells lottery tickets, promote growing jackpots with your fuel dispenser display and signage to build excitement. And don't forget your loyalty program. Make signup quick and easy, right at the gas pump. Provide helpful reminders to check their tire pressure or oil level—that will make a good impression.
3. Use customization and clear communication to maximize forecourt marketing effectiveness. Use customer activity data to personalize their experience. You can uncover their preferences by digging into their purchase details or tracking their social media likes. Use the data to send them customized offers. Updating signage or digital ad content several times throughout the day gives returning customers timely, relevant experiences and differentiates your business. And make sure forecourt ads on bollard sleeves, dispenser nozzles and high-visibility flags contain clean, simple messaging.
As forecourt advertising strategies increase in sophistication, their potential to boost store revenue also increases. Get this part of the customer interaction right and they’ll be more likely to come inside the store and make purchases beyond the fuel sale—higher margin purchases, too. Providing a good first impression right on your fuel payment terminal raises the odds they’ll come back, improving loyalty and long-term cash flow.
And it’s a lot more fun than squeegeeing the windshield.