DALLAS -- Sunoco’s new mobile app catapulted the chain’s rank from 47 to within the top 20.
The brand has an overall score of 2.22, up from 1.37 previously. Additionally, Sunoco is one of 13 brands in Stuzo’s digital ranking that provides mobile pay-at-the-pump options and one of 18 brands with mobile pay-in-store capabilities.
“Sunoco’s app launch was a big step for the company to expand its digital capabilities and we want to congratulate Sunoco for being an early adopter of offering mobile pay-at-the pump and pay in-store features to improve the consumer experience.” said Chris Lindinger, vice president of client services for Stuzo. Philadelphia-based Stuzo is a provider of personalized and predictive commerce solutions for the convenience and fuel-retail industry.
- Click here to see Stuzo’s complete online ranking.
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 zero 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 Sunoco stands in Stuzo’s c-store digital ranking and information on the brand’s digital capabilities …
Mobile Commerce: 3.08
App Performance: 2.82
Mobile Payment: 3.00
Loyalty Program: 2.25
“The Sunoco app also enables consumers to link their grocery rewards, find the nearest Sunoco station and view location-specific offers,” said Lindinger. “This mobile commerce launch is part of an exciting road map to expand on Sunoco’s mobile commerce capabilities providing an even more personalized and predictive commerce solution for its consumers in the future.”
The new app allows customers to link their debit or credit card, Sunoco Rewards credit card, a Sunoco gift card or pay via Apple Pay or Google Pay. It also includes an “Apply and Buy” function, which enables customers to apply for a Sunoco private-label credit card and start using the new account—fuel savings included—immediately. However, Lindinger and the team at Stuzo contend that Sunoco’s score would be higher if it enabled customers to earn rewards for both forecourt and backcourt transactions.
Loyalty Program Promotion: 3.00
App Promotion: 5.00
Sunoco’s website promotes the mobile app on the top banner of the homepage. Stuzo has dubbed the site easy to navigate, and the site provides plenty of information about Sunoco locations, fuel quality and its rewards program. The website also allows customers to apply for the Sunoco Credit Card fleet program.
Additionally, there is information about Sunoco’s investments in racing, as the company has fueled race cars around the world for more than 50 years. While the website receives high marks overall, Lindinger and the Stuzo team believe the site could be improved further by providing a more personalized experience on the site, such as information on how much consumers are able to save with the chain’s Grocery Rewards program.
Social Media: 2.13
Brand Responsiveness: 2.50
Frequency of Posts: 2.00
Creativity of Content: 2.00
Level of Engagement: 2.00
Sunoco has two retail accounts on Facebook and Instagram called SunocoGo. The company posts about events such as Sunoco 150, in which Sunoco offered free gas to customers and broke a world record for filling up 150 cars in less than one hour. These accounts also share posts from its Sunoco Racing social media channels.
Sunoco’s Racing social media accounts receive much higher engagement by reaching more than 1.6 million likes on Facebook, 56,000 followers on Twitter and 49,000 followers on Instagram. These accounts post about Sunoco’s drivers, upcoming races and race results.
Connected Car: 0
Sunoco did not score in the connected car metric, although this score is not unusual for c-store chains on Stuzo’s list. The metric is largely focused on the future. Stuzo predicts chains will put more resources into such initiatives as the industry evolves and becomes more technology-focused.
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.
Dallas-based Sunoco is a master limited partnership (MLP) that distributes motor fuel to approximately 9,900 retail stores, commission agent locations, independent dealers, commercial customers and distributors located in more than 30 states. Sunoco has about 80 company-operated sites, including 54 Aloha Petroleum sites in Hawaii, about 400 commission-agent locations, about 2,700 dealer locations and about 3,800 distributor locations. Its general partner is owned by Energy Transfer Equity LP.