July 26, 2007 Pay-at-the-pump petrol is a great convenience for drivers, but it sucks profit away from the retailer, who makes the majority of his profit from convenience store sales. Petrol buyers are the perfect target for point-of-sale advertising – they’re already out of their car, and what’s another five dollars of snacks or coffee on top of a $50 fill-up? To catch more of these disposable dollars as they come through, a global partnership between three market giants is about to target every petrol customer in 115 countries with a sophisticated video advertising campaign right at the pump, and it promises to change the gas station experience for good.

Fuel sales account for 70 percent of convenience store revenues, yet 68 percent of the industry's gross profit dollars come from in-store sales, according to a recent survey. With only 53 percent of gas customers visiting the convenience store, there’s a clear opportunity to raise profits just by getting people in the door – and a new partnership between digital merchandising specialists EK3, software giant Microsoft and petrol pump manufacturer Dresser Wayne is about to go all-out to convert gasoline buyers into convenience store customers.

Using video screens built into the petrol pump apparatus, the partnership will display targeted video advertising to highlight in-store deals and promotions and draw people into the store. The EK3/Dresser Wayne partnership allows station owners of any size to customize promotions, offer printable coupons, build brand loyalty and engage in "day-parting" - such as promoting coffee and breakfast foods in the morning and soft drinks and snacks in the afternoon.

The media is loaded through a simple Web interface that enables new promotions to be put together and trialed very quickly – opening up opportunities for store owners to sell advertising space to other local businesses as a further revenue stream. Owners of multiple stores and national petroleum networks can “narrowcast” their nationwide or network-wide offers with similar ease.

Under the new partnership, the system will be rolled out in a massive 115 countries around the world through Dresser Wayne’s gas pump distribution networks. It’s already being utilized in some chains, such as BP sites and The Home Depot gasoline stations and the Army Air Force Exchange Services in the USA. It is due to launch in Europe in September.

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