The following excerpt, re-posted from Convenience Store Decisions, is an excerpt from Lisa White’s article “Back Office & Forecourt Evolution,” which contains contributions from W. Capra’s Ed Collupy.
When it comes to new developments in forecourt marketing, much of the focus has been on incorporating technology, such as media and ordering capabilities, at the pump to help drive business into the store.
One of the things that’s happening throughout the industry is retailers are looking at the investment they have to make at the forecourt in order to support chip credit cards. Ed Collupy, Executive Consultant at W. Capra Consulting Group
“That’s causing a lot of c-store retailers to pause and ask what else can be done as this investment is being made to bring added value to the customer experience.”
Some solutions are from traditional pump vendors that have been out for a while and have a model behind them, while others are from new players with different strategies that provide stores with more flexibility and independence.
“What’s beginning to happen is emerging competition with pump media solutions; one is ingrained in the marketplace and the other is ingrained in the architecture, systems and applications for the forecourt,” said Collupy.
The bottom line is retailers want to not only be in control of the marketing and messages, but also be able to sell items at the dispenser and enroll people in loyalty programs or membership clubs.
This has led to an expansion of technology and capabilities at the pump.
“Much of this is driven by the explosion of foodservice in c-stores,” said Collupy. “Customers can now order an item at the dispenser so it’s ready to be picked up in the store.”
Pump sales capabilities also have been expanded with other innovative technology, such as Long Beach, Calif.-based Linq3 Technology’s point of sale lottery program. Its Play at the Pump program gives c-store retailers the ability to offer lottery purchases at the gas pump as customers re-fuel.
“Although this approach has been executed state by state due to lottery management, the technology has begun to make inroads in bigger states like California and New York,” said Collupy. “This is further evidence of the potential at the forecourt, with point of sale integration and the expansion of capabilities.”