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PDI Technologies has decades of industry experience, gathering customer data and providing expert consulting to fuel stations for increased efficiency and profitability.
Adapting to new changes in the industry, like electric vehicles (EVs) and sustainability, PDI Technologies has supported clients in their loyalty strategies to attract all kinds of customers — and drivers — to make the most use of their space, bringing shoppers from the fuel/charging stations to inside the convenience stores.
Loyalty360 spoke with Brandon Logsdon, President of Consumer Engagement Solutions at PDI Technologies, about his experience within the loyalty industry, new trends in sustainability, and how brands can leverage data to support customer engagement. Logsdon has over 20 years of customer loyalty experience under his belt, adopting innovative strategies to shape customer loyalty programs for various brands.
The Fuel Industry & PDI Technologies
Logsdon has spent 5 years with PDI Technologies, joining the company’s 40-year history in supporting convenience store (C-store) and petroleum station profitability. The former CEO of Excentus, Logsdon came aboard and implemented PDI’s first foray into customer loyalty.
Logsdon explained that PDI’s core business has been back office/ERP solutions, helping convenience stores and petroleum wholesalers with data collection, like tracking trucks as they pick up fuel and deliver it to terminals around the country.
The other side of the business is technology and services that support brands’ customer engagement and loyalty strategies and programs. With growing interest in loyalty and rewards programs, it's crucial that brands have the right systems in place to gather and connect customer data, which can, in turn, be leveraged to offer rewards and discounts. Today, PDI Technologies partners with brands with over 152,000 fueling stations around the United States. With so much data to analyze, network connectivity is a necessity for providing effective customer engagement solutions.
“With so many locations across the U.S., we’re making sure there's strong network connectivity, that we’re PCI compliant, and that our technologies and customer data are completely secure. The ability to securitize the sites is important. We make it our business to be that one-stop-shop full solution for convenience retailers and petroleum marketers.”
The Rise of EV & Convenience Store Loyalty
With EV models growing in popularity, customer loyalty strategies are adapting to best serve customer needs and keep drivers coming back to their C-stores and fuel pumps. How do fuel station brands attract customers who don’t need fuel?
“EVs are coming, they’re relevant, and we see them on the road now,” says Logsdon. “We expect by 2040 that 40% of cars on the road globally will be EVs, so now is the time to attract drivers in this emerging market.”
Convenience stores are adapting to this industry change by placing charging stations on their properties. Because charging EV models can take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours, this gives fueling stations a greater need to support customers with their in-store offerings. Finding new ways to invest in physical space and fuel station property is top of mind across the industry.
"Should C-stores invest in creating space for picnic tables outside? Are stores sure that they have adequate Wi-Fi? Is there room to carve out space and make an expansion if your pad allows, or spaces for interior seating? These are the questions companies are asking themselves,” explains Logsdon. “I think right now, one of the things that convenience operators are being cautious of is overbuilding to stay ahead of a trend. As EV models charge faster, how long are those customers going to stay in store?"
Focusing on easy wins and innovative problem solving can give convenience stores an edge in today’s market while providing the flexibility for changes to the industry in the near future.
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