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Study reveals the UK’S favourite petrol station

Asda overtakes Sainsbury’s and supermarket brands excel, says Market Force Information® study


Study reveals the UK’S favourite petrol station

Asda overtakes Sainsbury’s and supermarket brands excel, says Market Force Information® study

In challenging times for the sector, Asda has been named as the UK’s favourite petrol retailer, according to independent research from Market Force Information®. In the large-scale consumer study, over 3900 UK consumers rated various aspects of their last experience on the forecourt. Market Force then averaged this data to rate each brand on a Composite Loyalty Index, benchmarking overall satisfaction and likelihood to recommend.

The study also identifies the key characteristics that drive satisfaction, revealing how petrol retailers can win and retain customers through improved customer experience. Overall, one in ten people said they were dissatisfied with their most recent experience at a petrol station.

Asda puts its foot on the gas While Asda leapfrogged Sainsbury’s to take first place, Sainsbury’s came an extremely close second, followed by Morrisons in third. Of the traditional petrol brands, only Shell broke into the top five. Cheryl Flink, Chief Strategy Officer for Market Force Information says: “The supermarket brands performed exceptionally well, with little differentiation in consumers’ minds between the top three. As pump prices start to creep back up, our research shows just how hard the traditional petrol retailers will have to fight to win back the hearts and minds of consumers.

Top of the pumps Motorists also rated petrol stations on five critical attributes relating to satisfaction. Asda came out top in the fuel price and ease of access categories, while Sainsbury’s led in overall appearance and availability of fuel area cleaning tools like squeegees and paper towels. Shell, meanwhile, received the highest rating for fuel quality.

Supermarket brands performed strongly across the board, and the research reveals that 74% of people last purchased fuel from a supermarket branded petrol station – a slight increase on last year’s figures. Price is key, but so are amenities, convenience and overall experience When asked which factors are the most important when deciding where to buy fuel, price was the clear winner, chosen as important by 78% of motorists. However, ease of getting in and out of the site (33%), availability of payment options (32%), fuel quality (31%) and loyalty programmes (25%) were all seen as important as well.

Cheryl Flink says: “The research shows exactly where retailers can look to improve to win and retain more customers. Although the price on the pump is easily the most important factor, people can also be enticed by a range of services and these too offer good opportunities for differentiation in a tight sector.” Other key findings

• People are more likely to have used a petrol/convenience store app compared to last year, however this amounts to just 5% of motorists.

• Just over half of consumers are loyal to a particular brand – and Tesco has the highest allegiance.

• Over 1 in 5 customers made an additional purchase (non-fuel), with shoppers at BP the most likely to do so.

• About 1 in 6 purchased fresh food; over 1 in 4 were not satisfied with the quality.

• Few customers used the toilets; over one third were not satisfied with the cleanliness.

• Few customers used the car wash; one fourth were not satisfied with the experience.

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