- 29 May
The value of seeing traffic when making retail fuel pricing decisions
Traffic patterns are typical most of the time. We build stores, sell stores and tear down/rebuild stores based on these typical traffic patterns. Traffic is important to us as we price fuel because we can take advantage of changes in traffic flows.
Seeing traffic changes is where we find extra pennies and gallons. Integrating Google Maps with our pricing process gives us the ability to have local eyes on traffic patterns caused by things like concerts, ball games, and road construction.
Take for example a scenario where a large employer on the Southeast side of town closes down. If you don’t live in the area, it may take six months before you learn that you are losing fuel volume to the one station across the street due to the traffic pattern changes. Because the local guy has known that the rush hour is no longer when the volumes are, he has moved up his price during the week still getting business from the locals without much of a volume hit given the reduced overall volume market size. Then he makes the most of the weekend traffic by pulling tourist traffic off the highway with a low price and a billboard sign.
With PriceAdvantage, we can be 600 miles away from a station and feel like a local by leveraging the traffic view. With Web traffic information at our fingertips we can see what’s happening right now, and immediately make pricing adjustments to leverage the patterns we see. In this way we can adjust pricing strategies for the short term, or make immediate pricing exceptions to strategies we have in place, and then execute those optimized prices to the street in time to take fullest advantage of what’s going on in the market right then and there.