Are Customers Avoiding Your Gas Station?

Owning a gas station isn’t for the thin-skinned or for those unable to take a hard look at their own operation. Do you ever get the nagging feeling that some customers are avoiding your gas station, driving right on by to head for one of your competitors? If so, you may be right, and you may need to evaluate what you’re doing that might be driving customers away.

Location is one of the most important attributes for a gas station. Look at your location from the eyes of a potential customer: Are you convenient to a highway exit? Is there a traffic signal that makes it easier to turn left across traffic? Does the neighborhood look and feel safe?

What else could make customers choose a competitor over your location? Do you offer a loyalty program? These programs offer fuel discounts based on how much you spend at a gas station, and they help keep customers coming back.

Are your pump payment systems outdated and putting your customers at greater risk of credit card skimming? If your pumps don’t have the latest chip readers or contactless payment systems, customers may be wary — and you may face greater liability issues.

Another area to examine is the customer service experience. Are your employees well trained and polite? Do customers leave feeling like serving them has been a burden or distraction to the clerks?

Do you offer more than just gas? When people fill up, they may want to pick up some snacks, drinks or even a meal. Do you have fresh, hot coffee for sale? Are your bathrooms clean? Can customers check the air in their tires?

Consider the latest DAK’s Market, which opened on Route 66 outside of Sapulpa, Oklahoma. It’s a gas station, but it’s also a convenience store and a quick-service restaurant. Customers can buy beer or wine, household items and health and beauty products.

With all the offerings available, profits have increased 48% over the last three months, and Konnect is considering more upgrades, including a drive-through window for the Krispy Krunchy Chicken restaurant and branded coffee within the store.

Giving back to the community is important, and DAK’s Market does this in many ways, including increasing employee wages and adding more health benefits, along with supporting local food banks and community organizations.

If you’re interested in selling a gas station, contact DAK’s Acquisitions to learn more!

How Customers Choose Their Gas Stations

Gas stations owners operate in a highly competitive retail niche and must stand out in the crowd. Understanding how Americans view gas prices and decide whether to shop for food, snacks, and beverages can have a profound impact on your gas station retail business.

According to a 2019 NACS Consumer Insights report, 59% of drivers say that gas prices determine where they stop. However, the quality of fuel, food, and employees largely influences where drivers gas up, and 44% of gas customers will also go inside to shop. Over one-third of those customers buy drinks and snacks after filling up at the pump, and 8% of convenience store shoppers will purchase a prepared meal. Millennials are especially likely to opt for sandwiches or other hot and made-to-order food options.

These numbers show that consumers increasingly choose their fuel provider based on the quality of the items inside the convenience store. Here are a few ways that your gas station business can cash in on this shift in consumer behavior:

  • Understand food trends
    Consumers are eating healthier foods than ever. In addition to tried-and-true classics, such as soda, chips, and candy bars, consider adding fresher food options to your menu. For example, DAK’s Market serves fresh and fast foods alongside classic prepackaged options. Their complete menu of grab-and-go items makes them a choice dining destination for travelers throughout the region, and dining options include pizzas, burgers, sandwiches, freshly baked goods, and fresh deli meats.
  • Add seating
    Add a seating area to welcome customers and poise your location as a “food friendly” gas station. Although over half of customers that purchase a meal option will eat in their car, over 10% will choose tables inside or outside the store. DAK’s Market are well maintained and spacious, and the dining areas have ample room to accommodate customers while following appropriate social distancing guidelines.  
  • Cater to your community
    Provide value, reach your patrons, and support the community you share with them by giving back to local organizations. DAK’s Market serves the community by donating food to local food bank chapters. The company also allocates a budget to sponsor sports leagues and other local events. As a dedicated member of the community, Konnect offers its employees a competitive salary, comprehensive benefits, and opportunities for growth.

In the highly competitive gas station retail sector, customers are largely driven by their own expectations of the business. Although fuel prices still influence where drivers stop to gas up, food options are increasingly important to consumers. Fulfill those expectations to successfully manage your gas station business.

About DAK’s Market Stores

DAK’s Market a firm founded in 2019 on the strong foundation of 30+ years of experience in the petroleum and gas station industries.

With a mission to expand and grow successful gas station businesses and convenience stores throughout the nation, DAK’s Market strives to operate with a customer-centric focus, using customer engagement as the baseline of store operations.