Forecourts are evolving due to changing consumer demands and profiles. So, how are these drivers of change creating new opportunities that forecourt retailers can capitalise on, ensuring their future business growth?
Changing consumer profiles are impacting spending at the forecourt – from a time when the fuel mission accounted for over a third of visits, to now accounting for less than a fifth1. Forecourts that aim to capitalise on the shift in consumer profile and their spending will be keen to invest in ways to differentiate their offering and add more value and convenience to their customers’ visits – thus enhancing their own sales performance and enabling them to stay ahead of the competition.
Here are three ways in which fuel forecourts and their retailers can future-proof their businesses:
1. Adding forecourt-adjacent services that your customers want
Adding forecourt-adjacent services2 that surpass the traditional realm of fuel and Food & Beverages, are a great opportunity for growth. They not only attract more footfall but are also a reason for your customers to spend more time and money during their visit. Not to mention, these adjacent services often deliver higher margins than fuel.
“Forecourt-adjacent services are a great opportunity for growth”
Creating children’s play areas, offering co-working spaces and laundry services, or pick-up points for groceries and other online orders, are notable examples where forecourts can evolve their service proposition and increase profit margins. Honing in on the requirements of a specific customer set, such as business users and their needs, will help forecourt retailers attract the customers they want.
Attract more business users by becoming a convenience hub
Time is money. And business users, unlike regular customers, have specific needs and usually not a lot of time to waste. Making the services these users are most likely to need easily available in the forecourt opens opportunities to amplify customer loyalty and spend. Examples include a fast wi-fi connection for answering emails or video-calls while they wait for lunch to be served; or a co-working space with desk and charging station for their electronic devices. XXImo, as the all-in-one payment solution for business users, can be used as the payment method for forecourt-adjacent services that appeal to business users.
2. Faster, easier, and more secure payment options
Convergence between payments and mobile is prevalent across the retail market, forecourts included. New payment technologies, such as contactless payment with Apple Pay and Google Pay, and even in-vehicle payments3, are becoming increasingly popular with consumers and manufacturers. Moreover, old payment methods with the magnetic-stripe cards, will no longer be available in just a few years due to security reasons4. With the ease-of-use, speed, and enhanced security of mobile device payments through biometric authentication, it is no surprise that the industry is moving in the direction of contactless payment and EMV-technology.
“Contactless payment methods appeal to business and non-business users”
Updating in-store payment options, is not only good for consumers, but it also opens new avenues for forecourts to grow. Forecourt retailers are always keen to adopt payment methods that reduce checkout times. Contactless payments and mobile device payments are a terrific way to achieve this, while appealing to both business users and non-business users. Plus, the innovative technologies that are available today allow for much more value to be added to the costumer experience and business.
Offer a convenient, customisable payment platform
XXImo is the fastest-growing mobility network in Europe. As a Visa partner specialised in mobility and payment solutions for businesses, XXImo has been on the frontline of innovation in payments for over 10 years. With an open-loop card solution that replaces the traditional (i.e., limited) fuel card and unlocks hidden business potential, XXImo enables forecourts retailers to accelerate growth. Offering forecourt-adjacent services? You may want to consider also adding a payment solution to maximise profits. Are you already an issuer of fuel cards? Then it may be worthwhile to upgrade your limited fuel card to an open-loop Mobility Card for a 360-degree customer view and enhanced customer experience, on and off the forecourt. And if you do not offer a fuel or Mobility Card yet, why not introduce one and let your customers carry your brand with them everywhere they go?
3. Collecting and converting data into actionable insights
KPMG5 says it best: Forecourt retailers who do not future-proof themselves, will perish. And the consumer needs of the future are already presenting themselves today. The UK forecourt market has evolved considerably in the past decade – and so has the consumer profile, shifting from a vehicle-focused experience to a driver-focused experience, which covers a more comprehensive approach to the consumer’s needs.
“Forecourt retailers who do not future-proof themselves, will perish”
This has great implications for forecourt retailers – offering both challenges and opportunities to grow – as the pressure to keep up with developments in the market increases. Not responding to these changes is not an option. But, where to start? A wonderful opportunity for forecourt retailers to appeal to new and existing customer segments is by creating personalised offerings based on the customer profile or previous purchases. This will require the collection and analysis of customer and purchase data across the entire forecourt, and beyond. After all, data is the key to insight, and insight is the key to enhancing your customer intimacy.
More data equals more insights and more business opportunities
Connecting to existing international merchant networks, such as XXImo’s merchant network for business users in Europe, is the easiest way for a retailer to instantly grow their reach and datasets and gain actionable insights that impact the bottom line. XXImo is the all-in-one platform for corporate mobility and payments, powered by Visa. Join the Merchant network for added benefits, such as level-3 data access, lower interchange fees and capturing non-fuel revenue. Or become a Reseller and issue your own branded XXImo Mobility Card – a flexible and customisable (virtual) Card for fuel, EV (Electric Vehicle) charging, public transport, hotels and other B2B travel needs – to tap into this fast-growing business segment.
Are you ready to future-proof your business? Or are you looking to transform your business to ensure future opportunities for growth?
Visit XXImo UK for Gamechangers to discover all benefits of the XXImo platform:
- More quality footfall in your forecourts and stores
- Save on your interchange fees
- Create new revenue streams
- Increase customer spend per visit
- Data and insights to improve your customer experience
- Ease of business with smart and customisable tools
Get in touch today!
1 KPMG, 2020, p41: https://assets.kpmg.com/content/dam/kpmg/ie/pdf/2020/09/ie-fuel-forecourt-retail-market.pdf
2 KPMG, 2020, p20: https://assets.kpmg.com/content/dam/kpmg/ie/pdf/2020/09/ie-fuel-forecourt-retail-market.pdf
3 VISA, 2022: https://navigate.visa.com/europe/future-of-money/the-car-as-a-payment-device/
4 Forbes, 2021, https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2021/01/04/preparing-for-the-gas-pump-emv-deadline/
5 KPMG, 2020, p41: https://assets.kpmg.com/content/dam/kpmg/ie/pdf/2020/09/ie-fuel-forecourt-retail-market.pdf