There are several factors that come into play when it comes to choosing a gas station. Location, brand and price are a few that come to mind.
But, with all things being equal, there is another factor not on that list that figures prominently into the consumer’s decision-making process: cleanliness.
According to a Q3 report on the fuel industry from Boston-based GasBuddy, stations with an above-average rating for cleanliness experienced 21% more visits than those stations rated as below average in their upkeep.
“A simple step like keeping pump islands and the front of the store organized goes a long way toward boosting profits,” said Joe Crum, Director of Marketing and eCommerce for Commercial Zone.
Crum says that it makes perfect sense that office workers – who have been operating in the relative safety of their own homes for much of 2020 – would be sensitive to and affected by the sight of sloppy station.
“Think about it,” Crum said. “Commuters returning to their offices are looking for calm and organization in their lives. They’ve been removed from social situations and in many cases isolated from contact with other people and shared areas.”
“There is hyper concern with sanitation and clean surfaces.”
Following a dramatic dip in sales in the first half of 2020, it appears that the industry is due for a surge.
“Our data is showing signs of rebound when it comes to gas station visits,” said Bart Kloosterboer, GasBuddy vice president of strategy. “People are starting to get more familiar and comfortable with their new norm and are using their cars as ‘personal protective equipment.’ We saw a spike over the summer months, and as of September, station visits are back in line with the first quarter before the coronavirus lockdowns.”
To capitalize on the expected sales boom as we close out 2020, now is the time for station owners and managers to take a look at their pump areas to ensure they are as tidy as possible.
“An attractive and fully functional windshield center tells drivers that you care about them,” Crum said. “Similarly, nearly 75% of consumers using the pumps will also use the station’s trash receptacles. Many commuters use those stations for their recycling and especially rely on them as a convenient spot to clean the trash out of their vehicles.”
Commercial Zone offers several product options that combine the windshield service center with the waste receptacle, which provides a clean and convenient all-in-one package for customers. And with the new search features on the Commercial Zone website, it’s fast and easy to find the configuration, size and product materials that are right for every station.
Because receptacles and pump island windshield service centers are so visible and widely used, ‘critical to the perception of the station’s overall cleanliness that they also look clean, without dents, graffiti and wear.
Those items aren’t at the top of every station manager’s list, but adding new windshield centers and waste receptacles is a quick and cost-effective way to enhance the overall appearance and improve the customer experience.
“Windshield centers and waste receptacles both have an impact on a station’s customers,” Crum said. “Unblemished and fully operational units help make the customers feel more comfortable and encourage return trips.”
To see the full line of Commercial Zone windshield service center and waste receptacle solutions, contact us or call 800-782-7273.