This article is brought to you by Dover Fueling Solutions, a NACS Hunter Club and Global Supplier Council member.
It’s time for retailers to focus on innovation, and tech is the way to take customers to the next level, according to Scott Negley, senior director, product management, Dover Fueling Solutions. NACS Magazine recently interviewed Negley on how to optimize assets on the forecourt and win customer trust through a frictionless forecourt experience.
Q: Dover Fueling Solutions (DFS) has a long, strong history in the fuels space. How is that history still evident today?
A. DFS and Wayne Fueling Systems, a legacy brand within DFS, have been leaders in the fueling industry for nearly 130 years. The historical knowledge that comes with serving a customer base for that long creates an inherent respect for how our customers do business. That respect ignites our passion to help them drive business more efficiently and more effectively. We apply these years of learning to every product we create. This starts underground with wetstock management programs and extends to the forecourt and into the store.
With the past in mind, we now take great pride in focusing on the future. Historically, the fuels industry prioritized one thing: reliability. For consumers, that translates to never letting stores run out of fuel, keeping all fueling points operational and ensuring the most accurate measurement of fuel. But for retailers, the time is now to focus on innovation. What can take our customers to the next level? Technology. We can leverage technology to not only reduce downtime and increase reliability, but we can leverage technology to bring experiences to c-stores and gas stations that were previously unheard of.
Also, why stop at reducing downtime when we can engage with customers, drive loyalty, learn from data and save retailers time through cloud-based management techniques? Fuel is the driving factor for most customer visits, but imagine the margin opportunities that are possible with an integrated customer experience, blending the forecourt with in-store opportunities.
Q. And technology can help level the competitive advantage when it comes to marketing, is that right?
A. Yes, marketing is an incredible area of opportunity for fuel retailers, because not all c-stores are created equal. Not all c-stores receive the same marketing support from a corporate level. Not all c-stores can maintain outdoor signage on their own and often rely on their CPG relationships for printed materials. DFS is leveling the playing field in several ways.
We offer more tools for the retailer, whether they’re a corporate big box or a smaller operator, to drive top-end revenue growth on the forecourt or in the stores.
The flexible, stylish DFS Anthem UXTM user experience platform puts retailers in the driver’s seat when it comes to forecourt marketing. Bringing interactive touchscreens to the forecourt targets customers while they are a captive audience during fueling. It highlights unique promotions and drives high-margin sales.
The Anthem UX platform is like putting a sales rep and a marketing professional at each fueling point to drive sales. Promoting loyalty programs, educating consumers about premium fuels and advertising in-store specials have never been easier.
Technology enables a two-way exchange. Promotions can be tailored to customers by time of day, fueling stage, curated daily specials or weekly specials. In return, customers will respond with increased buying patterns. And the key to sustainable success is repeat business.
Q. When it comes down to it, fueling up needs to be fast, simple and fun for consumers to be satisfied. How does DFS help with that?
A. DFS has built a legacy of providing reliable, durable equipment. Fast fueling comes standard with our iMeter product line and can be upgraded to flawless performance with the Xflo Meter option.
And the simplicity of the transaction has never been easier. With an innovation overhaul to revamp the user experience, DFS imitates the known consumer experience with an intuitive, simple transaction. Standard transaction flow, similar button design and guiding prompts lead customers through their checkout.
The groundbreaking part is how fun fueling has become. We have taken the stress out of a distressed purchase and blended a world of touchscreen engagement with the forecourt. Users seeking weather updates, traffic outlooks or video media have their choice. Prefer to turn the volume down? The customer is in control. Is the 27-inch touchscreen a bit too bright during nighttime re-fueling? Switch to dark mode and edit the contrast for ease of use. It also has multi-lingual capability initially available in English, French and Spanish.
Q. Investing in the forecourt is an expensive proposition for most retailers. How can you help retailers future-proof their investment?
A. Fuel retailing is a competitive space. To stay one step ahead of the competition, business owners must make data-driven decisions that show a return on investment. Technology has proven time and time again to be an upfront expense with years of reward thanks to comprehensive visibility, enhanced data exchange and controlled processes being brought to one screen. The business management tools that come from investing in technology will save time and improve resource utilization.
Specific to Anthem UX and the DFS DXTM line of solutions that span the entire business, fuel retailers have an opportunity to increase high-margin sales, improve order accuracy, eliminate out-of-stocks, prevent fuel theft and more. The software will not go out of date, because remote upgrades are capable with every software enhancement and can take place immediately within the platform.