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Are Mobile Blinders Hurting Your Truckstop Sales?

Posted in: Fuel and Trucking, Marketing & Retail

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/// Guest post by contributor Parker Burke, Gilbarco Veeder-Root

Let’s face it.  Smartphones have become a part of our everyday shopping experience.  Apps, mobile couponing, and location-based offers are all examples of how mobile is playing a larger role in the retail environment. While mobile is certainly helping retailers promote their brand and drive traffic, it is also the prime suspect attributing to a drop in impulse purchases at the checkout lanes across the country.

Some researchers call it the mobile blinder.  I was thinking about that the other day as I was standing in line at the local supermarket.  There were a couple of customers ahead of >me.  I looked around to see if I could switch lanes but noticed that the other lanes had more traffic than the one I was standing in. And then it hit me. Everyone in line had their Smartphone out, checking emails, playing CandyCrush, texting or just surfing the web. I saw only one customer who was skimming through a magazine on the rack.  The rest were literally drawn to that 5 inch screen and paid no attention to their physical surroundings which consisted of irresistible candy, drinks to quench your thirst, chewing gum for chewing lovers and small packs of tissues to easily squish in your pocket.

According to a recent Bloomberg article, sales of items typically found near grocery checkout counters such as magazines and candy have fallen substantially in 2012-13.  The prime suspect according to the Bloomberg Article, was the Smartphone – or as some put it – the mobile blinders.

Retailers are not giving up. Some are re-thinking the positioning of their shelves while others are placing more of these items on shelves well inside the store and not just at the checkout.  Some retailers are taking a more innovative approach and devising strategies to effectively leverage these mobile blinders by turning your 5 inch screen into a direct marketing tool.  Offers are being sent to your mobile phone while you are walking down the aisles and even during the check out process.  As mobile wallet initiatives continue, the challenge becomes how to transition non-app user to become active members.  Digital media at the register creates an opportunity to not only promote applications to consumers, but also emulate that application experience to previously un-targeted consumers.

{Guest Post} Guest post reposted and modified with permission from C-store Advisor, the blog of NATSO Chairman's Circle member, Gilbarco Veeder-Root, and may not be further reprinted, modified, or otherwise used without the express written permission of Gilbarco Veeder-Root. Gilbarco Veeder-Root, the worldwide technology leader for retail and commercial fueling operations, offers the broadest range of integrated solutions from the forecourt to the convenience store and head office. Gilbarco earns the trust of its customers by providing long-term partnership, uncompromising support and proven reliability. Read the C-store Advisor here.

The opinions and advice given by guest post contributors are not necessarily those of NATSO or Gilbarco Veeder-Root, and are not intended to be legal advice. Please seek the advice of a qualified professional regarding your specific circumstances.

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About the Author

Jason Bertinetti

Jason Bertinetti

Jason Bertinetti has Product Marketing ownership over Gilbarco Veeder-Root’s Consumer Facing Applications including Impulse Upselling Solution, Lottery at the Pump, Applause Media System, and related future innovations.   He has been with Gilbarco for seven years, serving in a variety of leadership roles in Operations and Marketing.  Jason holds a BS in Management and Finance from Purdue University and an MBA from Wake Forest University.  He can be reached at jason.bertinetti@gilbarco.com.