There is an incredible opportunity for petrol forecourt operators right now. As a range of environmental and social factors contribute to changing consumer behaviour, the petrol forecourt could be the one-stop-shop that fulfils many people's needs.
In this blog, we review how consumers’ requirements from fuel stations have changed and how managed SD-WAN services enable the digital solutions that support petrol forecourt operators in being competitive in this space.
The changing landscape of the Petrol Forecourt
Over recent years, the demand for fuel has begun to drop. Cars have become more efficient, and as people become increasingly concerned with their environmental impact, they are opting either for hybrid or electric vehicles and evaluating the necessity of their journeys.
These trends do not have to result in the decline of the petrol forecourt operator. But, to remain profitable, it will require a shift in focus. Where fuel was once the only reason for visiting a petrol forecourt, according to KPMG, today, this has dropped to a 50/50 split between fuel and non fuel retail (NFR).
A further shift to just 20% of spending on fuel is predicted for 2029. Alongside this change in ratio of purchases is the increasing switch over to hybrid or electric vehicles and a growing need for more EV (electric vehicle) charging points.
The new opportunity for Petrol Forecourt operators
For petrol retailers or forecourt operators, this is where the opportunity lies. Imagine a local store where consumers could buy their daily groceries, post their letters or parcels, pick up their prescriptions and access a dry-cleaning service, all while charging their car.
This idea could be an attractive proposition – particularly in an age where everyone is time-poor and seeking to carry out their household chores as efficiently as possible. Add in a place to have coffee and meet with colleagues or access Wi-Fi to catch up on emails, and the petrol forecourt becomes a valuable asset for today's lifestyle.
How Petrol Forecourt operators can be competitive in this space
In evaluating oil and gas industry trends, Deloitte highlights how a generational shift has led to a fuelling preference focused more on convenience and user experience rather than brand and cost. It advises that companies who will thrive in this new consumer landscape will be those moving beyond fuel offerings, expanding to a full suite of products and services and incorporating convenience as a core function of the customer experience.
However, to deliver a seamless, efficient and convenient user experience, where consumers can access a broader range of products and services relies upon having the right technology with the right managed connectivity services.
With many petrol forecourts limited in retail space, maximising it must be a priority. Petrol forecourt operators need to leverage data insights to understand their customers' needs and behaviour to drive revenue per square metre. This data can be gathered from tools such as our Wi-Fi and Movement Analytics.
How Managed SD-WAN services provide a solution
For this increasing number of digital applications to perform optimally and deliver maximum benefit, always-on, high-performance network connectivity is essential and managed SD-WAN services provide an excellent solution. As well as the effective management of network capacity, availability and performance, it centralises network management, improving efficiency and supporting businesses in maximising the benefit from their available network resources. As a result, companies can ensure their customers are happy with their in-store experience.
At Hughes Europe, we have a range of vendor SD-WAN solutions in our portfolio. With our extensive skills, experience and capabilities, we can design, deploy and manage a network that is ideal for your needs, helping make your strategy for transformation a reality.