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5 Ways to Help Make Your Gas Station More Profitable

Discover the secrets to running a successful gas station

Is your gas station as profitable as it could be?

Run a service station that keeps consumers coming back

It can be a struggle to know exactly how to make your gas station more profitable. We’re here to help, with this list of key changes you can make to maximize your site’s profitability. Although gas price is a big factor in why consumers choose to stop at a station, it isn’t the only thing that can drive consumers to your site. In fact, more people will go out of their way to shop at a store they like than a store with low gas prices.1

Successful owners are masters of improving the consumer experience, and now you can be, too. Once you’ve read through these five tips, let us help you put them into action.

Fresh, Updated Exterior

Does your station project a safe, clean and modern image to consumers?

Today, consumers assume that what they see outside is what they can expect inside. Your exterior presentation is all a consumer can evaluate before pulling into your site. Having good lighting and the perception of safety are two of the top five reasons why consumers choose a fueling site.2
Running a service station that lacks adequate lighting can cause consumers to pass you by.

The good news? Changing your exterior doesn’t always require a complete rebuild. Improvements like a fresh coat of paint, a repaved lot or pressure washing a canopy can add to consumer trust, separate you from competition, and help make your station more profitable. High-quality signage and LED lighting can also contribute to an overall feeling of higher quality and safety. Consumers’ time at the forecourt is also your chance to tell them to go inside the store. By projecting a commitment to the outside appearance, you’re telling consumers you care.

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Well-Kept Interior and Restrooms

Are you flushing potential sales down the drain?

A nicely kept exterior may attract first-time or passerby consumers, but your interior needs to match to keep those consumers coming back. 52% of drivers who buy gas are also going inside, and it’s best to give them a holistic, positive experience.1 Restroom cleanliness is a key differentiator between high-quality and low-quality sites. Almost 20% of those people inside the store are also using your restroom.1

To a successful gas station owner, overall appearance matters. This means ensuring that your shelves are dusted, stocked and clutter-free. It’s also important that the floor is clean, and the counter and displays are well-kept and organized.

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Programs and Tools

Are you tapping into repeat business with every transaction?

For most people, their cellphone is a lifeline linking them to friends, family and – now, more than ever – to branded apps that help deliver a convenient, rewarding buying experience.

Mobile apps are becoming increasingly popular with drivers – with one in four consumers now using a gas station app. Apps that also offer payment solutions engage users even more with a safe, simple way to make purchases. The best part is that people are responding.

Consumers using a gas or convenience store app to make a purchase has increased over 20% since 2018.2

Another key driver? Collecting and tracking points and rewards for loyalty programs. Loyalty programs are key to attracting repeat customers. In a recent study, 46% of consumers said a loyalty card is the most used item of all brand offerings.2

Other offerings such as buying groups, fleet cards for businesses and credit card programs can also help ensure you are getting the traffic and margins to help make your station a profitable business.

Revenue Opportunities

Are you giving consumers what they want?

Improving the consumers’ experiences inside the convenience store can be vital to making a gas station more profitable. One in three consumers will make a purchase inside the store in addition to purchasing fuel. Key factors impacting consumer perception of your store are quality and selection of merchandise, speed of service, and cashier friendliness.2

The quality of an in-store offer can drive consumer preferences for your store compared to nearby competitors. Nearly two in three drivers say they prefer a certain c-store or chain over another – twice as much from eight years ago.1

Ample Amenities

Are you doing everything you can to compete on the street?

Certain consumers may favor branded locations where they can service their cars. Providing a site complete with air pressure stations, clean restrooms, a car wash and vacuums can be important to running a successful gas station. Similarly, metrics show that providing cleaning tools such as squeegees and paper towels is one of the best opportunities you have to improve the site experience for consumers.2

It is crucial to ensure that cleaning supplies are in stock and to regularly empty outdoor trash bins. Even the smallest amount of overflowing trash may negatively impact a consumer’s perception of your station.

By ensuring you don’t skip important amenities, you’ll open doors you didn’t know existed.

Ready to Make Your Station More Profitable?

These five tips alone won’t guarantee success, but can help improve your consumer satisfaction and loyalty to boost your bottom line.

We’re ready to help with the adaptive innovations, 24/7 business support and proven reliability you need to Power Ahead.

Drive Forward

Ready to Drive Forward with Phillips 66?

Contact us for your complimentary site assessment. One of our representatives will contact you to discuss setting up an appointment with a sales rep local to your area. 

1 NACS Consumer Fuel Survey, March 2020

2 MarketForce Information® US Petroleum & Convenience Store Consumer Experiences & Competitive Benchmarks, April 2020