NACS Show 2018 – Done!
For the second year in a row, we attended the NACS Show, the world’s largest trade fair for gas stations & convenience stores. From October 7 through 10, more than 23,000 attendees visited more than 1,200 exhibitors. With our partner CODAB, we were there to find out more about the latest trends in gas stations and, in particular, in the convenience store sector.
Gas stations as a shopping experience
Intense technological change influences end customers in every sector of life, including when buying fuel and shopping – because gas stations are more than just locations to purchase fuel. The end customer now expects a shopping experience and a gas station which adapts to their needs. For gas station operators like you, this challenges you to constantly update the business. You probably already have experience of this.
This year’s NACS Show focussed on many of these topics. Backed up by very good business figures – convenience stores are becoming increasingly significant – the mood of the representatives was over whelmingly positive. The industry is in upheaval, driven by new technologies, a younger generation and the changing and healthier lifestyles of end customers. Both cause a modification to the portfolio and the end customer appeal.
Promotion at the fuel pump
In addition to new products in the areas of Food, Drinks & Tobacco which boost profits,innovative gas station equipment was also presented. For example, interactive displays at the gas pumps for both entertainment and promotional purposes –there are solutions based on artificial intelligence and which “recognise” what may interest the end customer and which promotion may be interesting. The facility for the end customer to pay directly at the gas pump is not new, however, it is now much more widespread. In fact, what is new is the involvement of the end customer and tailored solutions, for example, a promotion can be displayed at the gas pump which can motivate the customer to also visit the store.
Cloud-based solutions for an integrated customer journey
The cloud-based devices that can integrate with our solution CiRRUS were particularly exciting for us. This opens up new business opportunities for an integrated customer journey. For you this customer journey means a variety of new opportunities in order to offer your end customers a better experience, to optimise your processes and thus increase your sales. We will let you have more information on the customer journey separately. However, to be honest, in view of the many innovations, we would say that many of the solutions presented still lag far behind the developments in Europe.