New Market Force Study Reveals America’s Favorite Petroleum and Convenience Store Brands

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The Petroleum and Convenience Store annual competitive study is live! We surveyed over 10,000 US consumers asking about their fuel and convenience store purchasing habits including brand preference, customer experience, brand engagement, and awareness. Respondent's feedback reveal which customer experience attributes helped high performing brands stand out from the competition.

Market Force Study Reveals America’s Favorite Petroleum and Convenience Store Brands

When it comes to consumers selecting a fueling station, driving satisfaction takes much more than having competitive gas prices! A clean, well-maintained location, good brand imaging, and a problem-free experience is critical to customer satisfaction.

Every year Market Force Information® studies the top multi-unit brands across several industries to uncover the best of the best. With a unique approach to analytics, competitive study results determine what matters most to consumers and how top brands compare across several dimensions of the customer experience. For Market Force clients, this expertise is applied in combination with data science to provide guidance in helping brands improve their brand awareness and deliver continuous performance improvement.

The Petroleum and Convenience Store annual competitive study surveyed over 10,000 US consumers asking about their fuel and convenience store purchasing habits including brand preference, customer experience, brand engagement, and awareness. Respondents provided feedback on the following topics: technology usage, store amenities, to reveal which customer experience attributes helped high performing brands stand out from the competition. That data was averaged to evaluate each brand on an aggregation of overall experience and likelihood to recommend creating the Composite Loyalty Index (CLI).

According to Market Force data, the most notable key finding from this study is that Petroleum and Convenience Store retailers are struggling as Grocery and Big Box retailers take the largest share of the market at nearly 1 in 3 fueling dollars. Consumers are taking advantage of the convenience of an onsite fueling station and loyalty price savings while performing their regular grocery shopping.

Over 1 in 4 consumers surveyed now use Petroleum and Convenience Store apps with adoption quickly growing amid the younger age group of 25-34. Retailer branded apps have outpaced industry targeted apps like GasBuddy, which now takes second place to retailers, followed by Google Maps and Waze. Locating gas stations and comparing prices are the top used features for apps at 69% and 65%, respectively, with paying for purchases showing the greatest growth from 1% in the last survey, to 22% in 2020. This data demonstrates the role technology plays in the Petroleum and Convenience Store industry and how having an app available may drive a consumer’s choice of brand and location for fueling.

Petroleum and Convenience Store Competitive Benchmarks
Shell receives the most fueling visits, representative of their large market share but Kwik Trip, Quik Trip, and Wawa fiercely compete for the lead with nearly identical CLI scores. Based on our last industry study, overall sentiment has increased with Wawa still taking the lead. The top three brands that changed their stars to improve CLI scores significantly were Marathon Oil up by 17 points, followed by Mobil with a 15 point gain and RaceTrack up 13 points over 2018 results.

Grocery and Big Box Competitive Benchmarks
Compared to Petroleum and Convenience Store locations, the perception of fuel quality is higher with Grocery and Big Box retailers along with loyalty, with nearly 2 in 3 customers indicating brand loyalty. Costco and Kroger received the most fueling visits but Costco and BJ’s lead with excellence amongst their loyal customer base. The top three Grocery Big Box brands to improve significantly were Safeway up by a staggering 20 points, followed by BJ’s with a 10 point gain, and Walmart up points compared to 2018 results.

What Drives Satisfaction?
When it comes to consumers selecting a fueling station, driving satisfaction takes much more than having competitive gas prices! A clean, well-maintained location, good brand imaging, and a problem-free experience is critical to customer satisfaction. Requiring measurement systems in place to ensure brand integrity is at its highest and curb-appeal of each location is maintained to stay competitive.

Download our new eBook to learn more and get in touch to discuss these industry findings in more detail.

About Market Force Information
Market Force Information® is a customer experience consultancy that works with leading restaurant and retail organizations, from the C-suite to front line team members, to empower business outcomes that enable sustainable growth in customer satisfaction and financial performance. Operating globally to serve over 200 clients, Market Force is recognized by the AMA Gold Report as a top 50 market research organization and CIO Applications as a Top 10 Analytics Solutions Providers. To learn more about our story and services, please visit us online at http://www.marketforce.com.

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