PetrolPrices relaunches as ‘TripAdvisor for forecourts’ creating a vital link between forecourt owners and UK drivers
- New look app and site design previews at The Forecourt Show
- Shopper data to fuel future forecourt operator growth as consumers spend more time & money on UK forecourts
- Petrol station owners urged to ‘claim their station’ to drive bespoke insights and marketing solutions
Data is set to become as important as oil to UK forecourts according to fuel price information site, PetrolPrices.com.
As consumer behaviour shifts and vehicle electrification and forecourt digitisation increasingly disrupt the petrol retail sector, PetrolPrices believes that the industry’s survival lies in its willingness to embrace and utilise data to create new customer experiences that cater for changing consumer behaviours and emerging technologies.
The fuel price information site, which launched in November 2005 and has over 1m active users, predicts that as visits to forecourts become less about fuel and best price, and more about the experience and facilities provided, shopper data will be the fuel that powers forecourt operator growth.
The news comes as PetrolPrices revamps its platform to become a ‘TripAdvisor for forecourts’ by putting data and customer experience at the heart of its offer, better linking the forecourt industry with UK drivers.
The new look PetrolPrices app, which is being previewed on stand Z139 at the Forecourt Show, will crowdsource and collect data on shopper experiences and behaviours. Data collected via the app and regular consumer surveys will be fed into a new Forecourt Manager platform that forecourt owners can operate and access to obtain customer experience insights. The platform can also serve up generic or geo located marketing solutions to web, app or email, to help brands and retailers drive consideration, footfall and sales.
As well as comparing fuel prices for all UK petrol stations across all major fuel types, with up to 50 stations being delivered per search (more than any other fuel comparison service), the refreshed PetrolPrices app will ask drivers visiting a station to check fuel prices and rate their experience there. The app, for the first time ever, will allow drivers to see a full page of information about every UK petrol forecourt and in return for sharing their ratings, members will earn points that can be converted into rewards, such as a weekly fuel prize draw.
As part of the upgrade, forecourt owners will also be able to ‘claim their station’ for free to help consumers see what services and facilities are there before they arrive. The Forecourt Manager platform will allow station staff to maintain their outlet’s page by updating information
about their forecourt’s services, facilities and fuel pricing. It requires no technical integration and will be at the heart of driving individual insights about each station.
The insights provided by the app will then enable forecourt operators to improve sales, customer service or product offerings, and subsequent benchmarking data will enable these retailers to measure their performance against competitors.
Says Jason Lloyd, MD of PetrolPrices: “The motoring industy is undergoing some seismic and disruptive shifts right now. The face of the forecourt is also changing. Petrol stations are becoming more than somewhere to buy last minute essentials, shoppers are being driven by changing consumer buying patterns and the ground swell of vehicle electrification is just around the corner. The inevitable outcome of all these factors is that shoppers will be spending more time on forecourts and expecting a range of services to cater for their ever-changing needs.
“At PetrolPrices we see this increased dwell time as an opportunity to leverage technology and collect data, which is why we have updated our app, ensuring the platform is well positioned to maximise these exciting opportunities as they arise.
“Think about it, increased dwell time means increased expectations around service, cleanliness, product offer and facilities. Those spending more time charging a car than they ever did filling up a tank will expect seating, food, entertainment, WIFI and a place to work from. It’s not that far down the line either, forecourts in Norway and the Republic of Ireland are already leading the way. And in the meantime, shoppers are already spending more time and shopping for more goods on the UK’s forecourts than ever, as petrol stations take over from the corner shop as the new local convenience store offering.”
Last year, £4.1bn of convenience store sales* went through UK petrol stations and the top three shopper missions** in order were 1) Food to go 2) Newsagent 3) Fuel. In 2018 consumers visited their local forecourt 2.74 times per week (vs. 2.66 in 2017), spent an average 3mins 48secs there and increased their spending to £5.80 from £5.60 in 2017***.
Lloyd adds: “Our aim is for PetrolPrices to become the link between the petrol retail industry and the consumers it serves as we provide a market-wide picture of customer experience. We want to flood the forecourt market with real-time, industry-wide data that helps to drive decisions on how each location can best attract customers to their station, whether this be by using the app to serve up information to the consumer on services, bespoke offers and branded discounts or facilities.
“We’ve seen this type of disruption hit many other industries, with TripAdvisor and Airbnb in the travel market, Uber in the private taxi sector and Netflix in the entertainment industry. We believe that the time for digital disruption in the forecourt sector is here and this can only be a good thing for the industry. To ensure operators get in on this from the start we are urging them to download the app and claim their stations for free to begin the journey of digitisation with us.”
PetrolPrices.com is the UK’s leading fuel price information service with one million active members saving up to £200 on average per year. Over the last thirteen years it has helped over four million people save money on their fuel by comparing prices from 8,440 petrol stations daily, sending over five million mothly price alert emails to its members.
The new PetrolPrices app will be available on iOS and Android from 15th April 2019 and a new look website will launch simultaneously. Visit stand Z139 at the Forecourt Show to see a preview demonstration.
* Source: IGD2018 **Source: HIM CTP 2018 ***Source: HIM CTP 2018
Notes to Editors
- Established in 2006, PetrolPrices was the first company to launch a completely free fuel finder app for the UK, with no subscriptions required to see prices from 8,490 stations (98% of market) which are updated on a daily basis
- It has a 12-year heritage of saving millions of motorists both time and money from their fuel costs, providing an average saving of £200 per year