Regularly sending at-the-pump texts to customers is one way to effectively use the power of habit. While Van Otterloo asserted that he’s not generally pro-freebie, he did suggest that offering a freebie to join the texting program, followed by a BOGO offer and then a discount could be an effective strategy to create a habit of heading to the pump, getting a text and then heading into the store to make a purchase.
Making in-store purchases easy and convenient is essential to making it a habit, something that consumers are likely to return to time and time again.
Oakes suggests engaging the customer early, enabling them to order on their phones, at the pump and at kiosks located within the store. He also advocates for engaging customers on social media, where retailers can celebrate their brand, create their own hashtag, and encourage c-store "foodies." Oakes, though, warned of the downside of social media, which comes with the possibility of amplified bad press. “Be a hashtag, not a meme,” he said.
The final key takeaways from the “Getting People From the Pump Into the Store” session were:
- Retailers need to set a goal that fits their idea of success in order to convert fuel-only customers;
- They must define a habit they can influence for their fuel customers;
- They must execute a consistent campaign; and
- They must measure the results for the use in devising future campaigns.