Fleet News

Internet to transform garage forecourts with information bonanza

COMPANY car drivers are to enjoy an 'infotainment' revolution on the petrol station forecourt over the next five years, according to market analyst Datamonitor.

It claims forecourt retailers are looking to supplement slim margins on fuel sales by attracting customers with free internet provision, which will be able to give drivers route planning facilities and traffic updates as well as other entertainment.

BP already offers some stand-up internet booths at its Connect sites, but Datamonitor believes technology will be taken further. Touch sensitive screens will offer a restricted range of traffic and travel information for time-pressed drivers at the pumps as well as in the garage shop. The screens could also be used for advertising and promotions when not in use. Telematics will mean drivers can be sent information on the road about their nearest service stations and various offers and fuel prices there.

Mike Phillips, analyst at Datamonitor, said: 'The internet is now being used to add real value to customer service, expanding the forecourt offering in an innovative and differentiating manner. e-business is going to transform the way in which retailers interact with consumers.'

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