Unmanned gas stations, is this the future?

With an increase in ordering on apps and using self-service checkouts, we are rapidly becoming more tech-driven and less people-focused.  Unmanned gas stations have been appearing across the globe over the last few years, with experts forecasting that North America will account for a prominent share of the global unmanned petrol stations.
Unmanned gas stations, is this the future?

As we move forward out of the global pandemic and continue to progress into the digital world, it has become ever more apparent that the need for tech-led convenience is rising.  With an increase in ordering on apps and using self-service checkouts, we are rapidly becoming more tech-driven and less people-focused.  

Back in 2020 Kalibrate predicted the rise in contactless transactions, using Amazon’s new retail store, the Amazon Go store, the first-ever unmanned grocery store — as an example.  Customers use an app to scan themselves into the store, with cameras tracking the items they choose and automatically collecting payment. This is the first store of its kind and is regarded as the supermarket of the future, with other brands now jumping on board.  

Following suit, unmanned gas stations have been appearing across the globe over the last few years, with experts forecasting that North America will account for a prominent share of the global unmanned petrol stations and Europe will come in just behind. Many business owners are feeling pressure to keep up with the trends, and with many people turning to technology for the answer it seems as though going cashierless could be the way of the future.  

Unmanned gas stations are proving popular due to the initial capital costs being much lower than a regular gas station, and with many bypassing building expensive underground tanks and opting to install above-ground tanks instead — the cost savings are even higher. They are also cheaper to operate without the cost of staffing, making them an attractive proposition for leaner organizations.  

Many Americans (28%) consider themselves early adopters and like to be the first to try new technology and products according to new research. The increase in unmanned sites is likely to attract these early adopters, who are always open to new experiences driven by technology. Kalibrate’s Mass Mobile Data report can help analyze your site to understand who your demographic is, and can help you understand if your site attracts early adopters and if an unmanned store would be profitable for you.  

However, not only is the gas station getting a technology facelift, so is the traditional C-store. An unmanned kiosk opened in early December in Amsterdam, Netherlands, as a part of the pre-existing unmanned gas station.  The kiosk offers a range of snacks and foods that you would normally find in a C-store, from coffee and sandwiches to car accessories and various electronic products, these products are available 24/7 by a vending machine.  

Toni’s gas station and kiosk in Amsterdam is one of many throughout the Netherlands, evidence has shown unmanned c-stores have become popular around the world, with many companies making a similar decision to “future-proof” their businesses.  

An example is the US is Circle K, they recently opened 6 stores in Arizona with similar technology.  Once again using the same principles as the Amazon Go store, with an app to scan into the store and a camera that follows you around the store. This type of solution is still very new and requires careful planning and a certain type of customer. Using data Kalibrate can help you analyze the market before implementing something new. To remove the guesswork from your decision-making and increase your chances of success. 

With the long-term trend of climbing fuel prices, we anticipate that more unmanned stations may appear in the near future. As the cost of fuel is rising faster than incomes, people around the world are feeling the squeeze — and will adjust their habits, by either buying from cheaper locations or lowering their fuel consumption altogether. 

As customers become more price sensitive, understanding price elasticity and price-difference elasticity (relative to your competitors) is now more critical than ever. Utilizing tools like Kalibrate Fuel Pricing help you to calculate and analyze sensitivities at your sites — to help you remove the guesswork from your business decisions and set strategies for success.  

Understand your consumers — to make customer centric decisions with confidence. 

Mass mobile data reports are available on any US gas station or convenience store of your choice, and the insight you receive goes far deeper than just your customer demographics. Find out: 

  • Number of visits by the hour or day 
  • Home location analysis
  • Pre and post-trip analysis 
  • Lifestyle segmentation 

You can get the insightful customer data that you need to learn who your customers are, how your store fits into their overall journey, the products you should be offering, and which are the best locations for advertising — all to increase your profitability and future-proof your gas station and convenience store. 

Contact us to Request a Mass Mobile Data analysis 

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