Updated: Dec 28, 2021
I always associate a gas station with a pleasant halt after a long car journey. Сustomers come there not only to fill up the tank. They want to receive the appropriate atmosphere and service first.
So, why do a countless number of cars stop at some stations while the other ones serve 10-20 clients a day? It could depend on an effective marketing strategy, high-quality fuel, or services, partly provided by the Point of Sale system.
I suggest beginning with the last one and considering what POS software is applicable for gas stations in new post-pandemic conditions.
POS For Gas Station: Features and Infrastructure
Following Statista, US gas station advertising spendings was over $ 4 billion in 2020. However, such a global investment may not give expected results if companies use legacy gas station management software and hardware. Believe me or not but for this business, the Point of Sale is a core management tool because of the following factors:
It’s integrated with all station equipment.
POS runs a fuel delivery system and controls reservoir filling.
It provides tax authorities with up-to-date data on excisable goods turnover.
Point of Sale controls fuel usage.
Thus, the POS system for a gas station is a full-fledged digital twin that:
manages processes of fuel delivery and car refueling;
provides a tax authority with financial reporting;
performs fast settlement operations;
controls the sale of grocery/non-grocery goods.
So, a well-developed fuel Point of sale Systems can supervise gasoline consumption and improve customer experience equally well.
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Earlier we said that gas station companies (GSC) use on-premise systems instead of cloud ones. Among significant reasons for such preference are the following:
Fuel stations are located in different areas: downtown or on the highway outskirts. The last ones don't have quality coverage to use Cloud POS systems. Traditional Points of Sale allow a trouble-proof operation regardless of external circumstances.
It's principal for GSC to obtain relevant data and protect them. It primarily concerns tax and other financial reporting. On-premises POS are safer and more reliable for such purposes.
Equipment is the core condition for the appropriate POS system functioning. It's divided into hardware for tax purposes and all the rest. The first one is purchased from a seller, certified by a tax authority. It is liable to a state for any malfunctions of equipment operation. Other hardware, such as gas nozzles, fridges, coffee machines, etc., the company buys from any suitable supplier.
Almost all gas station processes depend on the POS system. To perform them, it must use powerful software and new hardware as a base. Among the crucial Point of Sale features in this case, are:
Flexibility. Prices in the fuel market regularly change. So it's needed to make the cost difference imperceptible. For this aim, the system should update loyalty programs and fuel prices in a real-time mode.
Reliability. POS manages a variety of processes and terabytes of data. So, the system should run quickly and smoothly ensuring data safety.
Accurateness. It's worth it to minimize the gas station staff participation in the POS system operation to avoid mistakes. For this purpose, companies use a user-friendly interface that allows customers to make purchases on their own.
Customer experience improvement. A client should not feel the difference between buying gasoline and chocolate. Regardless of their features, all SKUs should be reflected on one check by default. A quality POS system for gas stations & convenience stores allows it, providing a personalized approach, fast demand satisfaction (refueling, grocery shopping, etc.), an ability to control the processes, and so on.
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Core Difference Between Point of Sale Systems For Gas Station Convenience Store and Retail
Fuel station convenience store activities are similar to retail ones. In both cases, companies sell goods, spread loyalty programs, and serve regular customers. Why can't fuel POS systems be the same for a GSC convenience store and traditional supermarket?
The first and principal gas station POS system distinctions are a high level of integration and versatility. In a GSC store, an employee can manage all service delivery processes from one place. Meanwhile, for retail, the Point of Sale is just a cashier workplace, and a system capable of managing goods (booking, sending, etc.).
A POS system for GSC is designed for the sale of excisable goods like gasoline. While not every regular store sells other SKUs subject to an excise tax.
Gas station chains always use on-premise systems because of location and reporting peculiarities. Retail can purchase any suitable POS, incl. cloud or hybrid solutions (combining cloud and on-premise elements).
A Point of Sale system for fuel stations is a complicated tool that interacts with all station equipment and performs various functions like cars fueling, gasoline delivery management, etc. Gas station POS upgrade is a must for this industry since it ensures a steady customer experience improvement. A well-designed Point of Sale allows a high-quality service provision and agility when it comes to business environment changes.