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Drawing Fuel Customers Inside

C-store retailers already have the tools to attract fuel-only customers into the store.
A women fills up her gas tank while checking her cell phone

With the majority of fuel sales passing through the channel, convenience store retailers have millions of customers within their reach. As any operator knows all too well, however, it's not that easy to get those fuel customers inside the c-store. 

Unless you are someone like me who prefers to pay in cash, the ability to pay at the pump coupled with the rush of everyday life means most motorists want to pull in, quickly fill up and drive away. Good for fuel sales, not so good for inside sales.

But all hope is not lost. Some c-store retailers are finding ways to draw those once fuel-only customers in from the forecourt — and it starts with communicating your offer.

Ryan Lindsley, vice president of marketing and digital strategy at Des Moines, Iowa-based Kum & Go LC, recently told Convenience Store News that it is important to show how a store can fill multiple needs through a single stop, such as gas, milk, a beverage and dinner.

How do you that? Think pump screens, mobile apps, text messages and social media. There are myriad avenues of communication available right now to convenience store retailers in their existing technology toolbox.

C-store operators have been getting better about using technology to attract customers to their lots. Now, they need to get better about using it to bring customers from their lots into their stores.

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