Digital Ranking Profile: Shell (April 2018)

By 
Jackson Lewis, Associate Editor

shell

HOUSTON -- Oil company Shell jumped eight places on Stuzo’s digital c-store ranking when it rolled out in-app payment functionality.

The Houston-based gas and convenience-store brand holds an overall score of 1.71 as of April 17, 2018. The chain’s prior score was 1.59.

“We want to congratulate Shell for adding mobile payment options at the pump and in-store. By adding mobile pay-at-pump, Shell joins only 12 other fuel and convenience-store brands in the United States that offer this capability,” said Aaron McLean, COO of Stuzo.

Click here to see Stuzo’s complete online ranking. Stuzo is a digital-product-innovation company focused on the convenience-store and fuel-retail industry with headquarters in Philadelphia.

The ranking covers 100 c-store chains, measuring each chain’s digital presence, including mobile commerce, mobile employee activation, connected car, website and social media. Each company is ranked on a points-based system with a score of 0 to 5 for each metric. Each metric is calculated using four more specific metrics. While this article examines the details behind the Shell ranking, it is meant more as a profile than an attempt to compare it to competitors.

Click through for details on where Shell stands in Stuzo’s C-Store Digital Ranking and information on the brand’s digital capabilities …

Mobile Commerce: 3.29

mobile

Shell’s overall score for mobile commerce is 3.29. Here’s how it breaks down:

Previous Score: 3.27
App Performance: 4.64
Mobile Payment: 2.0
Loyalty Program: 3.5
UX/UI: 3.0

Reason for Change: Shell now allows users to pay for fuel and convenience-store items via iOS and Android apps.

The Shell mobile app has an interface that allows consumers to manage and track their Fuel Rewards, find the nearest Shell stations, and learn about ongoing promotions. The Fuel Rewards program is based on purchases at participating businesses, which can earn users discounts on fuel when they used a credit or debit card linked with the Fuel Rewards program.

Shell’s in-app payment rollout vaulted the chain to a much higher ranking, as only 12% of chains offer a similar service. But this jump in the ranking comes with a couple of caveats. “Users complain about long app-loading times, adding that the app crashes often and that there are difficulties during [the] sign-up process. In addition, Chase Pay is currently the only payment option that can be used to pay for fuel and convenience-store items in-app. Adding debit/credit, gift cards, Apple Pay or Google Pay payment methods would increase consumer convenience and app adoption,” said McLean.

Website: 2.34

website

Shell’s overall score for its website is 2.34. Here’s how it breaks down:

Previous Score: 1.96
UX/UI: 4.17
Loyalty Program Promotion: 3.67
Personalization: 1.5
App Promotion: 4.5

Reason for Change: The Shell website is designed well, is easy to navigate through, and has a plethora of information, Stuzo said.

Fuel Rewards members can log in to manage their account and keep track of earned rewards. However, users report technical glitches, such as speed and loading times, as well as disabled links. The Fuel Rewards loyalty program is promoted on the site; however, the accompanying mobile app is not mentioned, so users may not be aware of the mobile offers they might be able to access.

Social Media: 2.94

social

Shell’s overall score for its social-media use is 2.94. Here’s how it breaks down:

Previous Score: No change
Brand Responsiveness: 2.75
Frequency of Posts: 3.5
Creativity of Content: 2
Level of Engagement: 3.5 

Shell posts content every couple of days on Facebook and Twitter and every other week on Instagram. Most content shared includes posts about community engagement, developments in sustainable energy and motorsport updates. McLean reports that the interactions between Shell and its customers are very sporadic, oftentimes customers report issues or complain but receive no response from Shell, while other times every comment receives a response. The company could share more interactive content or respond to customers more consistently in order to increase the level of engagement.

Connected-car and mobile-employee activation: 0

shell

Shell did not score in either the connected-car or employee-activation metrics. Shell offers an in-car payment app for Jaguar drivers in the United Kingdom, and it is only a matter of time until Shell brings this capability to the United States, but Stuzo’s ranking is currently only available for North America. European digital capabilities are not included in the ranking.

This score is not unusual for c-store chains on Stuzo’s list. These metrics are focused on the future; Stuzo predicts chains will put more resources into such initiatives as the industry evolves and becomes more tech-focused.

The mobile-employee-activation metric measures how chains increase employee productivity and work satisfaction through mobile-based programs. Connected car measures the chain’s use of a car’s "infotainment" system on the dashboard, which will become more common as the capabilities of car platforms expand further.

Stuzo estimates Shell covers 14,000 units in the United States. Shell’s U.S. headquarters is in Houston.

Philadelphia-based Stuzo is a digital-product-innovation company focused on the convenience-store and fuel-retail industry. It helps organizations humanize technology by designing, defining and delivering digital products that drive business outcomes.