Get the maximum out of your service station thanks to intelligent technology
It is general knowledge that the margins in the petrol station sector are under a lot of pressure. The price battle at the pump has a clear repercussion on the sector that is working on a strong (r)evolution as we speak.
Service station managers are making more and more a conscious choice between unmanned stations on the one hand and full service stations with a great service offer on the other hand. To make maximum use of the possibilities and the surplus values of this renewed business model, we see an increasing use of intelligent technology.
A trend that will undoubtedly develop in the coming years. Ilja Theuwissen, CEO of The Safe Group, explains with a number of examples how this can be translated to the practice in the future.
Intelligent camera surveillance
‘Service station managers want as many customers as possible to pass through the shop to pay their bill. But this increases the risks of run-through drivers naturally’, Ilja starts off. ‘Thanks to intelligent camera surveillance with license recognition one does not end empty handed and one disposes of sufficient data to hand over to the police and in doing so, recover the costs.’
‘Digital signage offers managers the possibility to attract the attention to certain products in a dynamical way and to reach certain target groups. Research has proven that a screen draws the attention of 75% of all passers-by’, Ilja explains.
‘Moreover, the service station manager will be able to link the information to his control system, to adapt at a moment’s notice and to anticipate on the ever changing current events. By reacting in a swift and quick way, he is able to steer the sales for a large part and he can create peeks. A refuel is the ideal opportunity to push certain information. When the customer is refueling, you have his full attention. A unique opportunity that you cannot let pass!’
Loyal customers are invaluable. From this point of view, loyalty programs are becoming more and more important in the service station sector. The aim is to analyze, map out and even reward the buying behavior of customers by means of loyalty cards. Or even more, the ultimate challenge is to show personalized information that corresponds to the profile and the buying behavior of that specific customer on the basis of person recognition.
Powerful tools with surplus value
The above-mentioned systems offer you a number of possibilities, but the combination and intensive integration of these techniques will deliver really powerful tools with a clear surplus value. In the future, you will dispose of a lot of useful information that you can control from a central point, which you can analyse from different angles and on which you can anticipate in real time. Which messages for which target group? What is the buying behaviour of customers and which profiles can you detect in this buying behaviour?
The ideal scenario is the following: when a customer drives onto the station, he is detected (by means of license plate, face recognition, WiFi) and you will be able to draw his attention to the products of his preference and you can present combination deals. In short, a real tailor-made approach of each customer.
To get the maximum return out of the current technologies, it is important to choose a partner that is not only technically educated but is also willing to think along on how existing systems and sources of information can be linked with other intelligent technologies in the most efficient way.
Without a doubt, technology will be an important pillar in the retail of the future. It is up to the service stations to take the lead!