Automating Media at Your C-Store

Automating Media at Your C-Store

Our industry is in the midst of media revolution and we are all along for the ride.  Retailers continue to implement and look for new ways to influence the buying habits of their customers through a connected and complimentary digital experience.  While the idea of deploying directed media is simple in thought, the real application can quickly become overwhelming to manage.  Marketing departments tend to run thin with members commonly wearing other functional hats within an organization.  As a partner in the media journey, we’ve learned some keys to success for creating both an effective and automated site deployment. 

At the Forecourt

A forecourt audience is relatively controlled as we know that every consumer is there to purchase fuel and will be in front of the dispenser for an average time of 120 seconds.  With a captive, controlled audience c-store focused brands are interested in this space.  They are willing to both invest and manage media proven to drive consumers into the store.  Leveraging the expertise of a national advertising company minimizes the ongoing effort needed to keep content fresh and allows a site to capitalize on the benefits of a larger network.  A few keys to successful forecourt media deployment are:

  1. Entice Views of the Screen – Use robust, full motion videos to capture customer’s attention.  Studies have proven that consumers are intrigued by the content experience and are not only more likely to go inside the store, but also stay loyal to the brand.
  2. Content Relevancy – One-to-one messaging is central to maintaining consumer attention and with possible intertwined loyalty messaging, a targeted consumer experience is created.  Personalizing the fueling experience creates a targeted relationship with the consumer and further embeds their loyalty to the site.   
  3. Consumer Engagement – Technologies such as couponing and surveys provide a unique and differentiated consumer experience.  This engagement mobilizes the consumer into a deeper buying position and in parallel improves the impact of other media being displayed.

In the Store

Once a consumer has come into the store, a complementary but uniquely different media solution at the point of purchase is necessary.  The number of SKUs and alternative consumer buying habits generates the need for a much more personalized experience.  Making this implementation both effective and automated is driven by 4 key factors:

  1. Integrate Your Loyalty Program – Loyalty programs are growing and engraining themselves as a core component of brand strategy.  Leveraging this investment by having an automated API connected link to an in-store consumer facing application increases the influence potential of both applications. 
  2. Draw Eyes to the Screen – An optimal store implementation entails a media centric touch screen that couples as a digital receipt display.  Through its positioning with relation to the point-of-sale and the transaction specific relevancy of the screen, a consumer’s eyes are naturally drawn to the screen.
  3. Integrate the Promotional Calendar– Point-of-sale price book absorption allows a system to evaluate the contents of the current basket and automatically populate a targeted promotion based on the existing promotional calendar.  If a customer scans an item that is part of a combo or volume offer, the relevant product that is part of that deal will automatically be promoted.  With the two systems connected, a merchant only needs to make the promotional updates to their point-of-sale.
  4. Dynamically Create the Best Offer – A continued evaluation of offer presentation based on previous purchase behaviors is one of the utmost keys to success.  Constantly analyzing site specific buying habits ensures the most relevant offers are being displayed.  Data points such as the consumer loyalty profile, historical basket contents, time of day, and the weather outside can all be used to populate a statistical algorithm that determines the right offer.  Having a dynamic system that adapts is the most important aspect to repeatedly engaging consumers.

Media is taking off in the c-store industry.  We encourage our business partners to utilize existing tools to help take advantage of the movement and automate their content experience.  To learn more about Gilbarco’s solutions to take advantage of the opportunity, attached are links to the complementary forecourt ApplauseTM TV and in-store ImpulseTM products.