Beyond the Convenience Store: Unmatched Customer Experience Starts at the Dispenser

Dover Fueling

As fuel retailers vie for consumer share among industry shifts, dispensers are an increasingly leveraged asset for designing complete forecourt-to-store interactions and turning fueling patrons into c-store shoppers. The newest dispenser marketing technologies—designed with consumer behaviors in mind—can move a fuel dispenser beyond its traditional role to a platform for driving upsell and loyalty. Upgrading a dispenser’s digital purchase capabilities, promotional capacity and connectivity to in-store offerings positions it as a launchpad for bigger, better customer experiences.  

At-the-pump purchase options embrace consumers’ digital habits

These days, ordering online or via app is second nature to many. There’s an appeal to instantly accessing a menu and making a purchase on a phone—there’s no waiting in line and no pressure. Research by Bounteus + NAG finds that, furthermore, digital shoppers are primed to make add-on purchases when ordering this way. Platforms tailoring selections based on captured customer behavior can effectively replace strategies historically carried out through complex store layouts and end caps.

This suggestive selling is a valuable approach to increasing basket size and encouraging customers to try new products, and it can happen right at the pump. For example, sites using the advanced touchscreen technology offered with DFS Anthem UX™ platform report increased in-store and service revenues, sales of higher fuel grades and loyalty program sign-ups thanks to enhanced digital capabilities. To expand on that success, Dover Fueling Solutions (DFS) partnered with GRUBBRR to deliver DX Market™ powered by GRUBBRR®, an at-dispenser ordering solution available on Anthem UX platform. This enables sites with c-stores to offer foodservice and SKU items on screen during fueling. Customers can simultaneously shop the c-store and submit their orders before hanging up the nozzle, allowing them to skip lines while stores get a head start on order prep. This ability opens up the addressable market to customers traveling with children or pets, too.

Customized at-dispenser promotions build loyalty

Twenty-seven percent of survey respondents in the Bounteous + NAG research said they prefer ordering lunch from their local c-store, while 47% of consumers who use specialty coffee apps said they also purchase breakfast with their coffee order. If nearly half of the morning coffee line crowd is buying breakfast, that’s a strong daypart opportunity for c-stores. One daypart that might further remain untapped is the dinner crowd. Reporting from GasBuddy showed that for an overwhelming majority of states across the U.S., the most popular hour for refueling is between 4 to 5 p.m.

The lesson from all of these data points is that convenience is highly personal. Whether customers fuel up in the morning, mid-day or evening, the opportunity for foodservice and store sales is promising if retailers can appeal to them in the right place and with the right offers. An evolution in at-dispenser marketing has transitioned from traditional pump toppers and signage, to mainstream ads and videos on dispenser screens, to advanced solutions such as DX Promote™ on Anthem UX platform, which enables site retailers to set up customized digital at-dispenser promotions based on local inventory, demand, seasonality and more. The order-at-the-pump solution also helps bridge the gap between forecourt and store, providing ease in offering targeted food and SKU promotions without eating into customers’ time and routines. These tools can be instrumental in creating a hub customers choose; one easily accessible site that addresses several needs.

Fuel dispensers help drive purposeful experiences

Beyond the secure payment and reliable equipment customers expect, intentional ‘surprise and delight’ elements can go a long way in winning them over and keeping them coming back. While some value short duration, others define a convenient and pleasing experience as being able to get everything they need in one stop. Fueling customers are recognizing retailers for more than the fuel they provide. Unique features including high quality foodservice, novelty snacks or gifts and even expanded household and grocery inventory help draw in customers. Despite these differentiators, it’s the consistent need for fuel that often acts as a catalyst for stopping.

Fuel, with its lower profit margins, is frequently described as an industry loss leader. Unlike other loss leaders, this one sits outside the store. That certainly creates a challenge, but it doesn’t have to perpetuate a losing strategy. On the flip side, fuel retailers get the advantage of a high-frequency returning customer base and captive audience. Quality, personalized experiences at the pump—complete with all the right tech and enticements—can convert a fuel customer to loyal c-store shopper.

Fuel dispensers can turn occasional customers into regular patrons

Fuel dispensers are no longer simply hardware designed to dispense fuel and take payment. Investing in the right dispenser solutions that embrace consumer habits can ensure maximized sales potential and satisfying customer experiences. Digital advancements allowing for increased security, powerful custom promotions, and at-dispenser ordering are connecting forecourt and c-store for all-around better customer interactions. The customer journey starts at the dispenser. Make it an impactful one to keep them coming back.

To learn more about DX Market™ powered by GRUBBRR® and other fuel and convenience retail solutions offered, visit www.doverfuelingsolutions.com.

This post is sponsored by Dover Fueling Solutions


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