Make sure you’re setting the right fuel price for your c-store. Don’t lose your customers to the competition.

Your business produces a lot of data every day. From the number of items scanned at each register to the number of gallons sold at each pump, your convenience retail store creates data points that tell the unique tale of your individual site. While there is some level of experience that goes into crafting your pricing strategy, using the information at your fingertips should play a large role as well. Each data point collected at the forecourt and store has an important role in providing the insight and understanding for setting fuel price at your c-store. Are you leveraging your business’s story?

According to the 2019 BP Energy Outlook report, liquid fuel consumption will continue expanding over the next decade, particularly in developing Asian countries with rising middle-class populations, before plateauing globally as we enter the 2030s. Even in the typically strong transportation sector, demand will fade as more fuel-efficient options are introduced. For your convenience retail store to survive these tightening margins, you need to accept impending reality – the industry is changing, and fast. In a Fuels Retail report from Accenture, they note the need to act now to “establish the organizational skills and structures that will be needed to formulate an effective strategic response.” In other words, you’ll need to put processes in place that help you look at the data behind your fuel and store sales to inform your decisions. But access to data is only part of the answer. You also need the fuel pricing technology to interpret and understand your data, so you can have a competitive edge.

The Price Is Right

With the countless data points available to you, putting these numbers to work to help attract and retain customers sounds easy, right? Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as inputting a few numbers to an excel sheet to figure out today’s best price. You need smart technology that can determine the best price today, next week and through the next year, all based on the information you already have from the sales in your forecourt and store.

Using the Right Data

In order to predict the right trends and prices for your c-store, you’ll need to feed your technology the right data, or you may end up with volatile pricing offers that hurt instead of help. With the potential for multiple data sources at play, determining the “right data” isn’t always easy. Syncing your ERP with your pricing tool allows you to seamlessly integrate the necessary data. Taking this step will ensure your analytics are up-to-date. This sync makes sure you’re providing your tool with as much data as possible in order for it to determine all the factors affecting your price. A good tool will use this data to model pricing for regular store traffic as well as account for seasonality and year-to-year trends.

How It Works

Relying on a pricing solution can be difficult. How can you trust its recommendations? It may feel similar to taking a leap of faith and crossing your fingers, but nothing could be further from the truth. As technology progresses, we’re beginning to see a shift towards artificial intelligence (AI), and more specifically, machine learning, incorporated to the technologies we use every day. The advantage of machine learning in fuel pricing is the ability for the tool to continue learning, understanding and interpreting the impacts to the pricing market as it’s given more data. By doing this, solutions can better predict the optimal prices throughout the day and for unplanned events. What exactly is the importance of machine learning? The technology self learns using the given data points to help optimize your fuel pricing.

Optimization for Your Store

Staying compliant with local regulations while still effectively and accurately determining fuel pricing for your convenience store can be difficult. Especially if your business operates globally. Choose a pricing tool that creates commonality for you with the various regulations, languages and currencies across the countries and cities you do business.

As enterprise software evolves, offering a holistic solution portfolio becomes increasingly important. Companies of various sizes across the world benefit from robust solutions. Your technology should work for you to create the competitive pricing and consumer engagement you desire at your individual stores.

Automated fuel pricing helps retailers around the globe streamline operational processes to improve pricing efficiency and optimize fuel profitability. By combining a world-class pricing engine with deep industry expertise, you can ensure a competitive advantage for your business.

Did You Know: Your Source for PDI News provided by PDI, the leader in enterprise management software for the convenience retail and petroleum wholesale markets.