Giving Petrol Stations the Power to Adapt

Javier Lopez, General Manager Vertical Solutions EMEA, discusses how having the flexibility to respond to changing circumstances can help businesses such as petrol stations drive customer loyalty and increase revenue
The road ahead could be rocky for petrol station operators that aren’t ready to adapt to a world that is continually evolving. The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted how we must all be vigilant when it comes to unexpected challenges and no business or sector is immune to this. 
The pandemic is just one example of how an economy can turn on its head. While this may have already led to short-term impacts for petrol stations, such as less people on the road as a result of increased home working, or fluctuating restrictions enforced to deal with new virus spikes and strains, there are likely to be plenty more challenges on the horizon. 

Charging ahead

With a global focus on setting and achieving environmental targets, the European Union is contemplating a ban on new petrol and diesel cars by 20251, which will undoubtedly lead to a shake-up of forecourts. Petrol stations will be faced with the challenge to continue catering for fossil fuel powered vehicles already on the road, as well as taking steps to power the rapidly growing number of electric and hybrid vehicles that are gradually replacing them. With electric vehicles taking a lot longer to ‘fuel up’ than petrol and diesel cars, traditional petrol stations could struggle for space, meaning a potential sizable gap in the market for more stations, and more competition to capture customer loyalty. 
Motorists’ expectations will shift beyond convenience to a better customer experience as they wait for their vehicles to charge, and petrol stations will have to step-up to accommodate for this. From on-site dining and entertainment to gym facilities and even office pods, it’s likely customers will expect a variety of options to help them pass the time. 
Changing the entire petrol station business model could lead to many unexpected challenges. Those that are ready and able to adapt to changing expectations quickly and effectively will be the ones that come out on top as the sector inevitably becomes more crowded. 

Adapting with convenience

For petrol stations to ensure agility is built into their business model, the basics must be in place. Printing on-site will help to empower petrol stations to overcome any unexpected challenges when they arise, giving them the flexibility they need. From helping motorists navigate around the site safely and efficiently, to introducing new services and promoting offers that capture customer attention and drive customer loyalty and spend, petrol stations can rely on high-impact visual communications. These can be printed on-demand from a single do-it-all device that is compact enough to sit under a kiosk or in the back office but can also produce a wide range of applications on-demand for indoor and outdoor use. From pre-cut shelf edge labels, tent-cards, loyalty cards and window stickers to 1.3m long hanging, standing and floor banners.  
Devices such as OKI’s award-winning applications-focused digital LED colour printers, can achieve all this and more in professional quality on a huge spectrum of media including self-adhesive, waterproof and grease-proof, which are ideal for petrol station environments.  
Being able to print on-site allows petrol stations to adapt instantly to new challenges as they unfold rather than relying on materials despatched by head-office to arrive on time, which may at times not be fit for purpose, or waiting on lengthy lead times dictated by a third-party print supplier. This can also save on costs too. Importantly, station staff need to be able to customise and print professional quality collateral quickly and easily to meet changing regulations, consumer trends and customer demands – another benefit of using an OKI colour printer which are designed with usability in mind. 
Please note, for information on specific media that should be used with OKI printers for the applications specified on this page, please contact your local certified dealer or contact us.

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