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New Study Analyzes Foot Traffic to C-stores, Gas Stations

NEW YORK — GasBuddy teamed with Cuebiq, the largest provider of accurate and precise location data in the United States, to conduct a joint study examining the foot traffic of GasBuddy users to convenience stores and gas stations across the country.

This marks the first footfall trend report in the fuel and c-store space, providing insight into consumer habits and behaviors through location intelligence, according to the companies.

GasBuddy and Cuebiq leveraged Cuebiq's proprietary intelligence platform and data collection methodology in an anonymized analysis of the geo-behavioral patterns of GasBuddy's app users. This included frequency of gas station visits, fueling patterns, how long they spend at a location and brand loyalty.

"Today's retailers already know a lot about their customers, thanks to customer relationship management software (CRM), but location data brings them further CRM enrichment by offering them powerful insights into consumers' real-world behaviors and trends," said Cuebiq CEO Antonio Tomarchio. "Location data shows what consumers' interests are in the physical world – whether they love coffee or fast food. If you are a convenience store looking to bring in more customers by adding in a Starbucks or McDonald's, location data can tell you whether it will be a worthy investment."

Key highlights from the study include:

  • Weekdays between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. were highly trafficked hours in Q1. C-stores are poised to lure business away from quick-service restaurants (QSRs) and grocery stores now that consumers can eat quality meals at the same place and time they choose to fill up their tanks.
  • With filling up a gas tank clocking in at an efficient two to three minutes, the 73 percent of GasBuddy users who spent more than five minutes at locations demonstrated that consumers are likely willing to spend some time in store before or after visiting the pumps.
  • The top three fuel brands that captured the highest ratio of footfall per gas station during the quarter were Ricker's, Family Express and Thorntons.

The study also analyzed GasBuddy users' brand affinity. When shopping, GasBuddy users shop at Walmart, Sam's Club and Target, and when banking, they most prefer Chase and Wells Fargo. GasBuddy users who are coffee drinkers prefer Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts and Tim Hortons.

"There is a reason they are called convenience stores," said Greg Fox, chief revenue officer at GasBuddy. "Their perception as primarily a gas station is dwindling as many chains now feature coffeehouses, fresh-made-to-order food, healthy choices, delis, quick service restaurants and grocery stores. As this joint study indicates, with the convergence of mobile technology and physical location, CPG and QSR brands now have unprecedented opportunity to influence and measure consumer behavior where $233 billion is spent in the U.S. annually."

The study was conducted during the first quarter of 2017 and analyzed more than 23 million consumer visits.

The full report is available here.

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