By Maura Keller
Ask yourself: What attracts you to your favorite retail store? Is it the choice of products? The level of customer service? Or the functionality of the space? As customer experience becomes more closely tied to purchasing decisions, more and more fuel marketers are focusing on improving the forecourt experience for customers by utilizing the latest dispenser video technology to attract and retain customers long term. Here’s why: today’s consumers expect to have information provided to them at every turn—from online ads via Facebook to radio commercial ads to text messages from their favorite pizza joint touting their daily special. Video dispensers at the pump offer an opportunity to capture your audience’s attention during the short time it takes to fill their tank. And, with today’s advancements in video technology, petroleum consumers are easily captivated by the immediacy of the technology at eye level.
Embracing a New Connection Point
The advancements in forecourt equipment, including video dispenser marketing, have truly changed the dynamic of the forecourt experience in the last decade. There are not a lot of industries that can tout having a captive consumer audience for three or four minutes. But as a customer fills his or her car with gas, and stare blankly at the dispenser watching the fueling progress, that’s exactly what you have. More and more fuel marketers are recognizing this four-minute timespan as the ideal opportunity to connect with the customer and enhance their bottom line.
As Luke Grant, Director, Payment and Marketing Applications at Gilbarco Veeder-Root, explains, progressive petroleum retailers are constantly looking for new ways to engage with fueling customers to either drive loyalty or to entice them to purchase additional items from the c-store.
These include services that offer entertainment content to show along with retailer promotions, as well as options to allow consumers to complete surveys or even order additional c-store items right at the dispenser.
“Many retailers are also integrating their loyalty programs into their dispenser media strategies to help reach each customer with the right message,” Grant said.
Gilbarco offers a variety of options for retailers to engage their customers with media at the dispenser. Gilbarco’s turnkey solution, Applause TV with VNET media, offers premium entertainment content, relevant promotions and even retailer-specific advertisements with very little effort required by the retailer.
The team at Wayne Fueling Systems is also seeing a high number of retailers adopting multimedia at the pump as a way to engage consumers while filling their cars, as well as helping to drive in-store traffic.
“This is viewed by many of our customers as helpful toward increasing brand awareness, promoting loyalty programs, driving repeat business as well as enhancing the look of dispensers overall,” said Rajeev Kumar, Director of Product Management at Wayne.
Wayne’s product offerings include all hardware and software necessary to send media to the pump. This includes a browser/cloud-based service where the media is uploaded, back-end services to prepare the content for the appropriate display size/resolution at the dispenser, a gateway device sitting at the convenience store that downloads updated content and the display hardware at the dispenser to display the actual image or video content.
As Kumar explained, the product includes the ability to show near-live information, national/local/store advertisements or coupons for in-store products, which may be printed at the dispenser.
The Wayne iX Media and inOvationTV platforms help you drive foot traffic into your store throughout the day by offering the ability to modify specials based on the time of day. For instance, many retailers offer a coffee and doughnut deal in the morning and a hot dog and beverage combination at lunchtime.
Wayne’s iX Media platform gives retailers complete control over promotions and loyalty messaging at each station. You can engage your customers directly with service promotions from car washes to in-store food offerings. And with the company’s inOvationTV, retailers receive monthly, customized, site-specific promotional ads for products and services via rich video media at no charge.
“Retailers may request inOvationTV media platform from any Wayne distributor and sign up,” Kumar said. “From an equipment standpoint, we can deliver inOvationTV media platform as part of a dispenser purchase (would be an add-on) or as an upgrade kit for Wayne dispensers and even many competitor dispensers. We are seeing many customers take advantage of this as they transition their systems to EuroPay MasterCard VISA (EMV) for outdoor payment at the dispenser. When purchasing a new dispenser, we can offer inOvationTV media platform free of charge to the retailer. For upgrade kits, there will be some cost involved depending on the specific situation.”
According to Grant, Gilbarco also offers a full suite of tools for retailers that want to be more active in managing their own content and messaging.
“Gilbarco continues to innovate in providing retailers more options to create the right mix of content for their sites, as well as help them upsell additional c-store products at the dispenser,” Grant said.