BOSTON — Convenience-store brands can now get top positioning in fuel location searches in GasBuddy’s app through a new “sponsored search” feature.
Similar to Google’s sponsored search results, GasBuddy’s new advertising unit positions a retailer’s closest location in the first spot on the results list with a paid advertisement. GasBuddy’s algorithm helps determine the brand’s nearest, most relevant retail site to place in the top position.
The sponsored search is sold on a cost-per-click basis, meaning that the brand pays when a user clicks on its ad. Boston-based GasBuddy has conducted beta testing of the new feature with BP, Arco, ExxonMobil, Shell, RaceTrac, Giant Eagle’s GetGo, 76, Phillips 66, CITGO, Esso, Valero and Cumberland Farms.
“GasBuddy’s sponsored search unit offers us front-and-center exposure with a highly qualified audience, because we know they are planning to get gas very soon,” said Jo Brecknock, brand and communications director for Houston-based BP.
Most of its members use the app before they leave to get fuel, according to Boston-based GasBuddy. Forty-two percent of those who use the app and stop at a gas station on the same day do so within five hours. And 80% of fuel buyers are not faithful to a particular fuel brand, so brands have opportunity to influence where customers decide to fill up with special deals or a convenient offer.
BP saw “impressive initial results” in incremental foot traffic during beta tests of GasBuddy’s sponsored search and a 92% traffic increase, Brecknock said.