The fuel service station continues to be essential to our lives, but the business model that has served us well for over a century is now subject to far-reaching changes from alternative fuels, new mobility needs and changing customer expectations around the convenience and mix of services available.
In many mature markets there has already been a fall in fuel and non-fuel sales and this has resulted in many fuel stations closing (Fleetworld reported that in 2000 there were around 14,500 filling stations in the UK, which had shrunk to around 8,400 by 2018) The need to change was clear but the speed of change has been more of an evolution of services rather than a rapid transformation to a new operating model.
With the emergence of Covid-19 and the resulting lockdowns across the globe the fuel retail market has been presented with a once in a lifetime compelling event for change. Although the full effects of the pandemic are still to be seen, the drop in fuel and shop sales already experienced is unprecedented for the industry.
Now, as the world begins to unlock, the demand for fuel will certainly return but the industry will need to respond quickly to ensure some declines are not permanent. In this series of blogs, we will share some views on the approach organisations need to take to respond, rebound and reinvent the business in the following areas:
- Customer - centricity - How to re-capture customers, implement new products and services that can drive revenue, while reducing the need for human contact
- Insight - How to generate new real time data points to help organisations transform their network of service stations and assets to reflect changing customer demand and needs
- Business Agility - How to develop new capabilities that can overlay the core front and back office to provide the new services in an agile and rapid way.
To remain relevant, fuel retailers need to embrace a new mind set. Making small incremental changes to the business will not suffice - companies need to make a step change to their business and quickly, by adopting innovation and new technology. Those who boldly seize the opportunity will find themselves in a winning position to Respond, Rebound and Reinvent.
We are interested in your thoughts and current experience of the Fuel Retail market, leave a comment or contact us to see how CGI can support the future shape of your business.