Marketers to Continue Gas Promotion Programs

Consumers may have recovered from the shock of paying nearly $4 for a gallon of gasoline back in 2008. But household finances don’t contain a great deal of slack. The new economic reality means people are looking to save money on recurring expenditures such as CPGs and gasoline. At the same time, more nontraditional retailers are trying to break into the gasoline market as a way to expand revenue. Todd Hale, senior vice president, Consumer & Shopper Insights, Nielsen, remarks that “even though gas prices are reasonable relative to recent years, consumers continue to employ money-​saving strategies, such as using coupons and gas purchase incentives, as means to deal with gas costs given overall economic concerns."

For now, convenience store gas stations remain a favorite location for fill ups for 87% of consumers because of the following:

  • Low prices 79%
  • Convenient location 67%
  • Shopper/​loyalty cards 14%
  • Ability to buy lottery tickets at the same time 8%

But convenience stores don’t own the market for gas purchases. Consumers purchase fuel in the following locations, primarily because of some sort of promotional program:

  • Grocery stores 24%
  • Warehouse clubs 14%
  • Mass merchandisers 7%

Hale points out that filling a car or truck with fuel these days still means parting with a significant amount of money. Consumers are clearly paying attention to promotions and looking to save money in any way that they can. Marketers will likely continue promotions such as discounted prices, free car washes or loyalty programs in order to win consumer business at the gas pump.

[Source: Consumers eating out less, using coupons. Convenience Store Petroleum. Cspnet​.com. 7 Sept. 2010. Web. 13 Sept. 2010] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.