I’m not sure what it is about gas stations that spark business ideas in me.
Maybe it’s the selling opportunity I see at the gas pump. There I am, standing there with my credit card or cash out, waiting for my tank to fill. With that extra free time, it seems an obvious chance to hook me with an impulse buy. You could call this situation a good customer touchpoint, in sales parlance.
And what better impulse buy, besides drinks & snacks, than fuel injector cleaners and other related fuel treatment fluids next to a fuel pump? In tough economic times, consumers tend to invest more in their cars because maintaining one’s current car is cheaper than buying a new one or making costly repairs.
Although there is some debate on the effectiveness of fuel injector cleaners, I’m sure there would be an increase in sales if consumers knew about these products and had a convenient way to purchase them. There are many drivers who are unaware of such products. (There are also fuel additives, though those don’t really work.)
Gumout, STP, and Valvoline would no doubt benefit from such a set-up as well. By placing fuel injector cleaners next to a gas pump, they can increase customers awareness significantly. A poster or banner briefly explaining their benefits may help too.
Gas station owners could also do this themselves. Why wait for the manufacturers? Put some fuel injector cleaners out by your pumps and cha-ching!
Operationally, this new distribution channel may pose some challenges. Aside from changes in delivery destinations, there would need to be an easy mechanism for handling the sale. Putting it inside a gas station’s convenience store wouldn’t be close enough to the customer. Most customers walk in, pay for their gas, and walk out without looking at the fuel injector cleaner aisles. A vending machine by the gas pumps then, perhaps? That would certainly automate the buying process.
Photo by: futureatlas.com