Are you preparing for the future of fueling stations? The days of serving your community and travelers with a traditional gas station are nearly over. While many business owners have leaped to expand their services with extended convenience stores and hot meal selections, tomorrow’s fuel stations may look very different still.
The evolution of gas stations isn’t new. Five years ago, many business owners began making changes to meet consumers’ demands for greater convenience and security. For example, modern fuel pumps make it easier to collect payment securely, select fuel options and learn about promotions going on inside the convenience store. Since the pandemic’s beginning in 2020, many store owners have implemented contactless payments and self-checkout and have created partnerships with delivery providers for last-mile fulfillment services.
In 2013–nearly a decade ago–CA Technologies published a presentation describing their forecast for the future of gas stations. Many of those predictions are now baseline expectations for fuel stations. Now is the time to consider what changes fuel stations will need to make to keep up with demand in the decade ahead.
Dover Fueling Solutions (DFS), a part of Dover Corp., surveyed consumers regarding a handful of questions, one of which focused on what they will expect from a fueling station in the future. DFS described the summary of findings to illustrate a facility much like the one George Jetson used to refuel his flying car. Some of the responses included comments like:
- All contactless.
- Nobody will work there. It will be pay-as-you-go. I think everything will be a fingerprint scanner.
- Mostly electric stations with few options for real gas.
- I think there will be places for people to charge cars and go inside a small cafe to work online or relax with a drink and snack.
While there are many predicted trends for the future, a few continue to pop up over and over in surveys like the one from DFS. Three of the top trends we see in the industry include:
- Consumers will continue seeking more convenience at the pump and store. Fuel pumps that are easy to use, connect to settings on mobile phone apps, accept payments by cash, card, or other mobile application, and can buy c-store products from the pump will be essential to attract repeat customers.
- As working from home continues to be popular, c-stores and fuel stations will need to become community centers with more services. Whether providing a comfortable, relaxing, and quality coffee shop environment with wi-fi access or partnering with local banks to offer limited financial services, c-stores will need to attract customers in new ways.
- Provide a variety of fuel options. Remember when the choices were leaded, unleaded, or premium? In the future, fuel stations will need to add compressed hydrogen and electric charging to their menus of fueling options. Fuel station owners will need to consider square footage options carefully to ensure they are optimizing space to deliver all the options consumers want.
Partner with GP Energy to be ready for what succeeding with tomorrow’s fuel stations means for your business.
Succeeding in the convenience store industry is challenging. By partnering with GP Energy, we can help your business unlock its potential with new opportunities and achieve unimaginable success. Our experienced team can assess your business and the markets in each location and recommend improvements to add more profits to the bottom line. Contact us today, and let’s get started.