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You’re sitting in your car at the gas station. You need to fuel up and want to get a drink and some snacks for your ride. Pre-coronavirus, you probably wouldn’t think twice about running into the store while fueling up. And you probably wouldn’t have even considered needing to wash your hands after doing so. But now that you’re conscious of everything you touch, what should you do?
What if you could get your gas and supplies without ever leaving your car?
Enter contactless experiences. Forward thinking companies can protect their customers from exposure to germs while reducing stress with the help of mobile technology. From contactless fueling -- think mobile pay, mobile pump start, and full serve attendants at pumps -- to pump-side delivery using the same app to purchase goods brought straight to your trunk. The “drive thru” experience might be the next big thing to come to gas stations.
But why contactless?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), studies suggest that coronaviruses (including preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus) may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. In fact, according to one CDC report, the coronavirus stayed on surfaces for 17 days aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
Pump handles and credit card keypads are high-touch areas that the public cannot avoid at most gas stations today. And while leaders in the convenience and fuel space like John Eichberger, executive director of the nonprofit Fuels Institute, say that gas station owners and operators are doing what they can to combat the spread of COVID-19 by cleaning their facilities more often, it might not be enough assurance for some motorists.
Even if your customers avoid touching their face while pumping their gas, there are many things that they will touch before, during, and after the fuel transaction. Their keys, phone, car door handle, steering wheel, wallet, credit card and other items open them up to contamination. Even if they eventually wash their hands, going back to touching any of these things puts them at risk yet again.
An opportunity for convenience stores and gas stations
Deemed essential businesses, convenience stores and gas stations are still likely to see a steady stream of business throughout the pandemic. Those that implement digital strategies to make their customers’ experiences safer and friction-free stand to benefit from an uptick in business in the short term and a gain in user loyalty when this scare moves past. Proof for this lies in some of the recent news about e-commerce and delivery:
Mobiquity is your strategic digital partner
Mobiquity has been working with top companies for nearly a decade to help them create effortless digital experiences that matter. We want to help your customers, employees, and stakeholders get what they need as quickly, efficiently, and seamlessly as possible and it’s never been more important as we navigate COVID-19.
We’ve created an accelerator to help gas stations and convenience stores fast-track digital capabilities that enable customers to have a contactless experience when fueling up or stopping for food and drinks. Together we can roadmap your digital future, get a pilot up and running and put your business on the right track to unlocking the right experience for your customers.
In this time of uncertainty, you can be the hero for your customers by providing them with a way to keep themselves safe while also increasing customer loyalty through your response to the current pandemic.
Contact us for a consultation if you would like more information on how to make your convenience store even more convenient.
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