Turn on a TV or open a newspaper these days, and you’ll likely see a story about the record high price of gas in the U.S. As a convenience store owner, you’re probably all too aware of the increasing prices, but it’s important to make sure your customers understand where the increase is coming from.
Most Americans don’t understand the dynamics of the convenience retail and fuel distribution industries. They don’t understand that the price at your pump is highly influenced by many factors in the distribution pipeline like oil producers, refiners and storage tank owners, just to name a few. They don’t understand that while the price of a gallon of gas is up, your profit margins on fuel have decreased as highlighted in this recent Barron’s article.
The cost of gas is a stressor for most Americans right now. While there is nothing you can do to ease that stress, it is important to realize that your customer base probably doesn’t understand your situation. It can be beneficial in situations like these to leverage those few minutes they are on your property to correct the record.
The display screens in your fuel pumps can be used for many purposes, and creating and managing your company’s brand is a great use of the retail technology that you’ve invested in. Explain who you are and what you do. Take the time to share some of your important brand messaging and that gas is not the only thing that you sell. Demonstrate that you are part of your customer’s community. Whether you are sponsoring the local food bank for kids or planting trees throughout the community, you have a meaningful story to tell. This can help customers understand who you are, what your business is, and why they should choose to shop with you.
High gas prices also negatively impact in-store conversions, especially for more novelty items. As gas prices rise, focus on promoting “convenience essentials.” This can include affordable meal combinations, proprietary salty snacks, well priced dispensed beverages and core grocery products, like milk, eggs, and bread. It’s important to make sure customers know that you are an affordable option and a destination for those everyday snacks and essentials.
It’s always beneficial to take advantage of your screens to tell your story to customers, but it’s even more important in an inflationary business environment like this one hitting people from all sides.