Factors to Consider When Buying a Gas Pump
Forecourt capital investments can be very confusing, time consuming and expensive if not done properly. Weighing all of the different options is important, as the forecourt makes up 75% of your annual sales dollars. When making capital investment specifically around the fueling dispensers there are a number of key considerations for each c-store operator, regardless of size and scope.
- Total Cost of Ownership: Understanding overall cost of ownership over the 10 – 15 year life span of the dispenser is important in making a capital purchase. Knowing the average time between service intervals and accessibility to certified technicians are just as important as the upfront purchase price. Other considerations include wet stock management; enhanced meter performance, robust graphics and ease of serviceability when making an overall cost of ownership decision.
- Payment Security Compliance: Whether it is PCI or EMV compliance, understanding the regulation’s impact on your point of sale, back office and store operations integration is critical when making a dispenser purchase decision. You should also consider the payment platform’s adaptability and its expansion for growth as the regulation landscape and requirements continue to evolve.
- Driving In-Store Traffic: Another key consideration is driving customers from the forecourt inside your store. Two thirds of your customers will fuel and leave your site – never making it inside for higher margin purchases. That is a significant revenue opportunity to miss out on. One way that has proven effective to drive customers inside the store is to run engaging and relevant promotions at the dispenser. Today, you can order dispensers with integrated, large color screens along with audio/video to play engaging media content and promotional offers tied to on-demand coupons – all driving store promotion performance beyond typical pump top and banner displays.
- Enhanced Consumer Experience: NACS research has shown the average fueling transaction consists of 8 – 10 gallons of fuel. This equates into a total transaction time of up to 5 minutes with every customer at the forecourt. Each customer has different needs but providing the best experience for those customers is paramount to driving customer loyalty and return visits.