Want an additive with that? HEB Adds Additech’s Fuel Service to its Gas Pumps.

I make it part of my weekly routine to fill up the ol’ Ford at the HEB. I stock up on groceries and then ‘fill er’ up’ at the ultra-convenient gas station – just about a touchdown pass away from the monstrous HEB.

A recent fill up had me mesmerized at the new Additech/HEB gas pumps. Yeah, I know, it takes a special kind of person to get excited about gas pumps.

HEB had recently ‘up-sized’ this gas station with a car wash. Now, they were hoping to ‘increase their share of wallet’ with a convenient ‘fuel additive’ service (right at the pump).

I’ve seen the ‘at the pump’ fuel additive service at numerous pumps around town, but it is new to the ‘very crowded’ HEB fill-up station. I’ve never personally ‘up-sized’ my car’s fill-up, but it has piqued my interest. I do have a suggestion that may convert more customers.

I have to ask:
Does a consumer really know that they need this?

If they don’t, how can HEB/Additech educate them that this is a must-have?

How can HEB/Additech push them to make this ‘impulse’ buy at the pump?

I have a suggestion for HEB. I believe this ‘hint’ would dramatically increase the ‘take rate’ on the additive service.

I would introduce a 3rd option (in between the entry-level and premium service). Currently, there are just two ‘fuel additive’ options to choose from on the screen.

By adding a 3rd option, you are establishing a middle ground that many consumers will gravitate towards. Most won’t pick the high-end option (do I really want to spend top-dollar on something I really don’t understand?) or the low-end option (will I get any benefit out of something so cheap?). The 3rd ‘middle’ option moves the ‘high-end’ down and the ‘low-end’ up, creating interest for people who probably weren’t inclined to ‘take the offer’.

This ‘theory’ is expertly presented in a book that I am reading titled: Predictably Irrational. If you are at all interested in how humans think (or sometimes don’t think!), you’ll want to give this a read. There are numerous examples cited that show how the slightest changing in pricing or pricing options can yield huge gains.

I’d love to see HEB and Additech add this option to their fuel pumps. I would think it would help drive more results in this new category for HEB. At the very least, they could ‘test and learn’ their way to better conversion rates in this new category.

Note: I am fascinated by the marketing/merchandising that is becoming commonplace on gas pumps.

In fact, I wrote about this very topic on Naden’s Corner a few years ago.

(Originally published February 9th, 2010)

Until next time,

Dan Naden

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