Gem Retail Hotlist: BP's seamless technology

  • Technology
  • December 2, 2019
  • Catherine Murray
Gem Retail Hotlist: BP's seamless technology

BP's BPMe app won it the 'Hottest use of in-store tech' award at the 2019 Gem Retail Hotlist. Here's more about the groundbreaking app.

BP’s aim is to make a customer’s experience with them more effortless and enjoyable, and if it makes sense to use technology to achieve this, then that’s the path it takes.

“We know our customers lead busy lives,” says Adrian McClellan, BP General Manager Retail and Assets. “We are constantly looking for ways we can innovate and evolve our offer to provide a great customer experience, delivering the most convenient offer as safely as we can.”

Paying with fuel from the car with an app, the BPMe app, was a first for the New Zealand retail fuel market.

“We know that our customers want to get in and get out quickly and easily when they visit us,” says McClellan. “We also know that most people don’t go anywhere without their phones. So we challenged ourselves to see if we could find a way to use phone technology to make the service station experience more seamless.”

The BPMe app now incorporates AA Smartfuel and Wild Bean Cafe loyalty, with the cafe’s pre-order and pre-payment with Google Maps integration, so coffee is ready when the customer arrives. It’s essential the safety messaging gets through too, so there are reminders for customers to use their phone inside their car or inside the shop (not on the forecourt), and the ability for the store team to cancel a BPMe transaction if they see a customer doing something that could put themselves or others in

harm’s way.

Technology also gives customers a choice of how they want to experience purchasing fuel from BP and how much time they want to spend there says McClellan.

“That might mean they want to fill up and go, or they might choose to fill up and to take a break or spend more time in-store. This in turn gives our customer service teams the opportunity to focus on the customers who most appreciate or need their support.”

Attention is also on technology in-store, with eye-catching LED displays to support current campaigns, such as the Good Mood offer of Krispy Kreme doughnuts, Haagen-Dazs ice cream and Wishbone take home meals. The displays are not just impactful, they’re also quickly and easily changed out.

True loyalty happens when you give customers a great experience that fits in with their lifestyle and needs combined with an offer they really value, says McClellan.

“We know if we can tick the box in both those areas then our customers will be more inclined to come back.”

Change in the industry is a certainty concedes McClellan, and it’s about understanding what the customers want, and delivering to that need.

“Being part of an international organisation means we can share local innovations like

BPMe with the rest of the world. It also gives us the benefit of being able to keep a

close eye on what’s happening globally and, where it will benefit our customers, bring it

to New Zealand as a proven concept, and much faster than we would otherwise be able

to do.”

Uber Eats is now available through a select number of BP Connect sites, the first major fuel and convenience company in New Zealand to partner with the delivery service. Customers can order from a select range of popular BP products, from a Wild Bean coffee to a Wish Bone meal, to the forgotten bottle of milk. McClellan says it’s an example of how BP is working with other organisations to meet the changing demands of customers.

“Technology and customer needs are evolving at a fast pace, so it’s important that we are keeping up - it’s an exciting time to be in retail.”

This story originally appeared in NZ Retail issue 764 October/November 2019.

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