"Unlike grocery and apparel retailers, the fuel and convenience industry is servicing a truly brand-agnostic consumer," said Sarah McCrary, CEO at Boston-based GasBuddy. "With on-the-go drivers sensitive to the price of fuel, the station location and the quality of the amenities, the key to seeing returning customers is delighting them with offers that are timely and relevant to their particular trip."
Targeted fuel discounts issued through the Pay with GasBuddy program have helped fuel and convenience brands capture incremental market share and drive new business, further proof of the lack of brand loyalty.
Showing an additional 5-cents-per-gallon incentive to net-new or disengaged customers has allowed fuel retailers to capture as much as one out of four of that segment's fuel purchases, the company said.
Fuel retailers have seen that same incentive double their market share even with their frequent customers, from one in three transactions made at their brand prior to a campaign, to two out of three during the promotional period.
Examining Pay with GasBuddy point-of-purchase data by region in the United States, the Midwest has the highest concentration of brand-agnostic drivers, with 82 percent going to multiple brands in any given month.
The region with the most loyal customers is the Northeast, with 24 percent of drivers who fill up four or more times per month visiting the same brand for all fill-ups. The rankings by region suggest that brands on the more congested coasts see less competition for loyal customers than the open areas of the south and Midwest, according to GasBuddy.
The study examined 500,000 Pay with GasBuddy members' point-of-purchase data between October and March.