Convenience stores have evolved to become destinations for more than just fuel. Whether customers want coffee and a snack during the morning commute or a fresh meal for lunch, a clean restroom during a road trip or a spare phone charger for their car, c-stores provide a range of essential products and services for the more than 160 million drivers who visit daily.
With c-stores in every state of the country, it’s no surprise that consumer habits vary by region. According to recent research from Kantar, gasoline purchases are especially likely to motivate trips to c-stores in the Midwest and the South. Drivers in the Northeast, however, are more likely than other regions to stop on the way home from work or to purchase a meal.
When deciding where to go, today’s hyper-connected consumers frequently turn to digital solutions. Seventy-seven percent of Americans own smartphones—including 92% of those ages 18 to 29—and a few taps of the screen is all it takes to locate and assess the quality of nearby stations. Consumers can examine fuel prices, ratings and reviews and check to see if stations have the necessary amenities. Are the restrooms clean? What do their peers say about the customer service and the coffee? These details work together to form perceptions that influence consumer behavior.
Retailers have a tremendous opportunity to boost their reputation and increase market share by participating in this digital ecosystem. But prior to utilizing advanced strategies for consumer engagement, reputation management and location-based marketing, they must ensure visibility through accurate listings.
Unfortunately, some retailers have been left in the dark. Companies who operate in cooperative, co-branded arrangements—one brand providing the fuel, and another operating the store—have faced a more specific challenge: Which name and logo should represent the store online?
The simple answer is both. If only the fuel brand is visible, then it is unable to benefit from the foot traffic that might be generated from a partner store that is now hidden online. If the situation is reversed, then the c-store loses a significant source of potential traffic as consumers are unable to find the fuel brand online.
GasBuddy, the mobile app that helps drivers search and locate cheap gas, amenities and the best-rated locations, now allows c-stores and fuel operators to co-brand as part of their listings management solution—showcasing the logos, names and amenities of each.
For more information, or to schedule a demonstration of GasBuddy Business Pages, visit www.gasbuddy.com/business.
This post is sponsored by GasBuddy