Everything Old Is New Again: Technology Revives the Customer Experience

Everything Old Is New Again: Technology Revives the Customer Experience

In a time when it took a Salesman to make a sale and an attendant to pump your gas, the consumer retail experience was all about…the consumer. Thanks to new technology, those days are returning in a new form.


Retailers are continuously investing in ways to bridge the customer experience across multiple platforms. The goal: generate big data to learn how to better serve consumers. The result: retailers are putting the focus back on their customer base.

Previous generations had a personal relationship with their service station. They were greeted by name. Station attendants knew their customer’s needs, whether it was just a top-off of oil, some air in the tires, or making sure the kids had their favorite treat.

As time moved on, retailers’ focus became driving total efficiency in product mix for the lowest possible cost.  Advertising versus service was the driving force to increase profits, focusing on never-before seen breadth and frequency of consumer messaging.

Now, retailers are reclaiming that long-lost customer intimacy by using technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) to paint a 360-degree view of their consumers. Business intelligence and data analysis are the keys to a high-tech, more relevant consumer relationship without additional expense or training of service-oriented personnel. The more a retailer can learn from and cater to customers, the more opportunities there are to instill loyalty and influence purchases.

Information can be gained from many digital elements of a petro retailers brick-and-mortar environment.  Retailers can mine transaction data linked to a loyalty card, but the best, most efficient way to gather customer information is via an interactive suggestive-selling solution such as Gilbarco’s Impulse. This technology allows businesses to view in-store traffic patterns and garner customer input through an interactive shopping experience. Impulse also features Augmented Reality to show a larger depth of product information and entertainment, plus tools like NFC tags and bar codes for special information and offers.

Savvy retailers realize that applying technology solutions in a retail environment is not about the tech itself. It’s about how it’s implemented. If retailers can use technology and data to improve the shopper experience and build relationships, they will create a winning combination to increase sales and loyalty.

Read more about upselling and the power of Impulse Countertop Merchandising here.