Station health assessment

Over the past 10 weeks, the GetUpside team and I met with more than 100 dealers and distributor representatives in the DC metro area.

At the same time, across a broad sampling of station locations, brands, and station layouts, we analyzed station level anonymized historical credit card transaction data from the last 3 to 12 months.

Through this analysis, at 95% of stations we found the long-term trend that gasoline transaction volume is flat to declining per store.

Interestingly, paired with this analytical feedback was a qualitative story that didn’t match: distributor sales managers stated that “they had a good thing going” with current market dynamics.

How long can you have a good thing going when gasoline transaction volume is flat? Is it time to implement a new transaction-increasing strategy?

My GetUpside colleagues and I hail from careers building the technology platforms used across the online retail industry. The technology we collectively built enables online businesses to significantly increase profits by treating customers individually, and incentivizing them accordingly.

Now, we’ve taken that methodology and applied it to a revenue generation platform that small businesses — gas stations just like the ones in your network — can use to get more customers, buying more. When you act more like an online retailer, and treat each customer individually, you can significantly increase profitability, customer satisfaction, and business sustainability.

It’s simple and straightforward, and yet radical for an industry that posts its price on a sign for all to see. In our conversations, we looked deeper into the common transaction-increasing strategies, and the common pitfalls of each.

Common pitfalls of transaction-increasing strategies

Strategy: Acquire more store locations

Pitfalls: This is a sound means of increasing portfolio-wide transactions, and it’s what many distributors like you have optimized for. However, for roughly half of those we spoke to, uncertain long term demand outlooks and rising station acquisition prices have increased the risks and made the rewards too slow or low for this to be the only viable approach you pursue.

Strategy: Implement distributor-down standards

Pitfalls: You already implement minimum site-cleanliness standards and routine audits. But despite overhead to enforce and compliance by location, our analysis shows that these actions are helpful to achieve the average number of transactions in a geography, but not sufficient to exceed the average.

Strategy: Accept major brand promotional programs

Pitfalls: While Safeway cards, Super Days, Plenti, or Giant co-branded promotions sometimes increase station transaction volume, they also often cannibalize profits. Station owners see their existing customer base using these rewards cards or shifting the days they historically purchased, and are forced to sell the same amount at a lower price to customers who would have purchased the same thing at that location regardless.

Strategy: Lower sign price

Pitfalls: Every station owner knows that if they lower price, the stations within sight will almost immediately follow suit — causing both parties to sell the same volume at a lower price. Not as well known, and something that we have measured, is that tools like Gas Buddy are moving 8 out of 10 price conscious consumers to loss- leader “unbranded” providers from as much as 5 miles away. So, if you can’t lower price because of the competitors next door, how can you compete with the station 5 miles away?

Creating a successful transaction-increasing strategy

To increase same store volume you must be able to compete profitably for new customers and get your existing customers buying more. Inherent in both of those components are a set of requirements that must be met in order to profit:

Requirements for winning new customers profitably

If you can beat nearby competitive station’s price — profitably AND…

  • be assured the stations around you won’t see the discounted pricing and counter your price, and
  • be assured that you aren’t discounting pricing for existing and expected customers (i.e. cannibalization)

…your profits at each station will rise.

Requirements for getting existing customers to buy more profitably

If you can understand what your current customers are buying and profitably incentivize them to buy more than they are today, your profits at each station will rise.

GetUpside’s revenue generation platform ensures that you’ll meet all of these requirements, enabling you to win new customers and get existing customers to buy more. With GetUpside, your profits at each station will rise.

GetUpside’s proven model

Winning new customers profitably

The GetUpside platform automatically sets promotions that attract the consumer you aren’t getting today at the maximum possible margin for you.

Getting existing customers to buy more profitably

The GetUpside platform will automatically analyze the purchase habits of your existing customers on an individual basis, and profitably incentivize them to buy more.

Best of all, GetUpside doesn’t require any setup work, staff training, or software upgrades. Just sign up and watch as GetUpside wins you new customers and gets your existing customers to buy more.

GetUpside is the easy-to-use revenue generation platform that gets more customers, buying more, at your station. Ready to get in touch? Sign up to learn more about how your station will profit with GetUpside’s proven model.

Article originally published here.