In the recent years, gas stations have undergone a huge metamorphosis. Drivers no longer come here just to refuel their cars. They expect an extensive commercial and gastronomic offer. According to the Sunday Trade Ban in Poland, many locations also became a Sunday shopping destination. Non-fuel sales are the driving force of growth. Petrol market has become extremely promising, but also much more competitive. This raises the need to learn more about who the customer of a given service station is. Also, who the visitors are, what their needs and expectations are.
What do we know about users based on mobile location data?
Customers are not only more and more demanding, but also more and more mobile. Not only the number of cars is constantly increasing, but the time of using smartphones is also increasing. Mobile devices are the primary source of contact with the world and simplify many everyday matters. At the same time, smartphones provide information on actual user behavior. Location data allows you to analyze the given group characteristics or determine its home and work zone. Location monitoring based on mobile data allows you to determine the area of impact of a given location (catchment area), visits frequency analysis or occasional and returning customers comparison.
Petrol market – Selectivv Index SelSTACJE
On a daily basis, location data enables Selectivv to implement geotargeted advertising campaigns for smartphones and analyze user behavior. Collected data on users is analyzed and profiled in real time in the Selectivv DMP database. Also, on the basis of such data, Selectivv Index Stacje, analyzing the petrol market, was developed.
Selectivv Index Stacje is an indicator based on data of visits to selected gas stations during the calendar month. It shows how the number of visitors changes in the analyzed period. Constant research covers 131 precisely selected locations. They are selected to accurately reflect the characteristics of the market. Among analyzed gas stations are those belong to the largest concerns, as well as smaller, independent points. Database covers gas stations in large cities such as Warsaw, Gdańsk and Płock or smaller towns such as Andrychów and Żory.
Analysis of petrol station visits based on Selectivv Index Stacje Benzynowe (Petrol Stations)
The biggest advantage of Selectivv Index is the ability to historical data reference and trends observation over time. Since the analyzed period beginning (October 2017), there has been a steady upward trend in the number of visits to monitored locations. In two years, Index Selectivv Stacje increased compared to its base value (100 points) to 108.06 points. (October 2019).
Najniższa wartość wskaźnika została zanotowana w 2018 r. w czerwcu (95,11 pkt.) i lutym (95,78 pkt.). Patrząc w szerszym kontekście na miesięczne zmiany w ciągu ostatnich 28 miesięcy obserwujemy trend wzrostowy z niższymi wskaźnikami zwłaszcza na początku roku (styczeń – luty). Tym bardziej należy zwrócić uwagę na wysoką wartość Indexu Selectivv Stacje w styczniu br. (102,56 pkt.), a zwłaszcza na wysoki wzrost rok do roku w tym okresie (o 5,15% w porównaniu do stycznia 2019 r.). Może to sugerować, że odwiedzanie stacji benzynowych będzie nadal wzrastać w najbliższych miesiącach. Najwyższy wskaźnik uzyskaliśmy dotychczas we wrześniu 2019 r. (111,65 pkt. ) oraz miesiąc wcześniej (109,34 pkt.).
The lowest value of the Indicator was noted in 2018: June (95.11 points) and February (95.78 points). Looking at the monthly changes in the last 28 months in a broader context, we observe an upward trend with lower rates, especially at the beginning of the year (January – February). The more attention should be paid to the high value of the Index Selectivv Stations in January this year. (102.56 points), especially for high year-on-year growth in this period (by 5.15% compared to January 2019). This may suggest that visiting gas stations will continue to increase in the coming months. We have obtained the highest ratio in September 2019 (111.65 points) and a month earlier (109.34 points).
The reasons of SelSTACJE indicator growth
One of the first things that comes to mind, when looking for the reasons of gas stations visits growth is the issue of Sunday Trade Ban. The long period of analysis allows to look back and assess the impact of changes in the law on visiting gas stations (they are not prohibited). The Sunday Trade Ban Act came into force in March 2018, with the ban not applicable to the first and last Sunday of the month in the first year.From the beginning of 2019, trade was allowed only to the last Sunday of the month (and the Sunday before the biggest holidays).
When we analyze data from three periods, we can observe the following average indicators of the Index Selectivv Stations:
A very large increase is clearly visible after the introduction of the more restrictive Sunday Trade Ban (January 2019), and a similar level of index comparing the period before the law was introduced to the period covering the next 9 months. It should be emphasized, however, that the analyzed period before the Ban was much shorter and covered only five months, including January and February, which, as shown by comprehensive observations, are weaker in terms of visits to gas stations. So what are the results if we keep the analogy and compare only the last quarters in subsequent years? We get the following percentage changes year on year:
What is clearly visible, is the increases and the positive tendency in the gas stations visits along with the number of Trade Sundays reduction. The number of Trade Sundays has an impact on the gas stations visits. For example, the lowest year-to-year growth in the last quarter is recorded in December (2019 to 2018). When we look at the number of Trade Sundays, we will notice that in December 2018 there were 4 while in 2019 only 3.
Petrol market vs. trade – Selectivv Index Stacje in compare with Selectivv Handel indicator
We already know that the number of Trade Sundays translates into the number of gas stations visitors. However, without a benchmark, there is a risk that generally there was an increase in visits to retail outlets during the period considered and there is nothing special about gas stations. The fact that the Selectivv Index indicators apply not only to gas stations but also to trade (divided into shopping malls, discount stores and hypermarkets), which we can use as a benchmark, comes to our aid.
Over the past two years, the indicator for shopping malls has decreased in cities with more than 300,000 inhabitants to 96.75 points, and in cities with less than 300,000 inhabitants it has even reached the level of 89.97 points. Of course, direct comparisons are not justified, eg. because of the business characteristics. Certain references allow us to notice the obvious, e.g. a smaller increase in visiting gas stations in the pre-Christmas period key for shopping malls or higher rates for the holiday period – also contrary to the trends regarding shopping malls.
Comparing the analogous data of Selectivv Index Handel (Trade) to Selectivv Index Stacje (Gas Stations), we can see:
Comparing the data to the Selectivv Index Handel, it is clear that as the number of Trade Ban Sundays increases, the number of gas station visitors increases. Based on the Selectivv Index data, we are not able to tell what the size of the shopping basket and its structure looks like. However, all indications are that gas stations are indeed the beneficiary of the Sunday Trade Ban Act.
Other factors that affected the petrol market.
Another factor causing the gas stations visits increase can be constant offer expansion. During this period, gas stations put even more emphasis on the non-fuel trade development, which clearly paid off. According to the PKN Orlen data, non-fuel products and services at their stations cover about 30% of the margin. More and more stores are being launched in “convenience” format at the stations. Thanks to the constantly expanded range, more and more often going beyond the necessities, the station’s offer is becoming more and more attractive. At the same time, the offer of coffee concepts is developing, which are created as independent implementations of individual petrol station chains or signed with the well-known cafe brand. They also affect the perception of a gas station as a place to rest on a journey, but also a cafe, restaurant or store than just a place where you come to refuel.
Such a strategy works on the overall success. Expanding the offer in the existing legal and economic situation is definitely a move in the right direction. Market practice from recent years has shown that stations without a store are unlikely to succeed. Companies trying to develop only self-service station networks have found this out.
In our opinion, the upward visitis will maintain in the first quarter of 2020, and then it will slow down. Nevertheless, we encourage you to follow the Selectivv Index. It allowes you to check whether the upward trends for gas stations or the downward trends for trade will be. Especially in the matter of localities less than 300,000 inhabitants.
Purposes for location mobile data implementation.
There are new challenges ahead for petrol stations. They reffer to the digitization, electromobility or a maintenance-free offer. That creates the need for deeper segmentation and profiling of users. The selection of store assortment and gastronomic offer should be developed on the basis of users’ preferences and behavior analysis. Data from mobile devices show users’ real behavior. Declarative data does not always have to be honest and truthful. Customer analysis on these occasional and returning customers can help you plan your mobile and out of home campaigns. Morover, the analysis of the POI catchment area can also be helpful when choosing investment locations.