Nearby searches for gasoline stations are the cornerstone business model of GasBuddy, a 17-year-old company with an app that has been downloaded 70 million times. Now the company is testing a feature in its mobile app that would allow consumer products goods companies to message consumers at the exact moment they are at a convenience store.
Location-based messaging is not new, but companies are trying to perfect the ability to reach consumers at the ideal time. GasBuddy VP of Marketing Mike DiLorenzo believes the company may have found the answer to reach a hyper-focused niche audience -- "people who are in their car going to the gas station at least once weekly."
About 80% of the 150,000 gas stations across the U.S. have a convenience store attached. Technology inside the mobile app lets GasBuddy know when someone is within a couple of meters from the property.
DiLorenzo said GasBuddy is testing the messaging feature internally through a special version of the app with a few companies.
Across the web and mobile app, GasBuddy fields about 4.1 million searches daily -- about 123 million per month -- from motorists seeking the best price on gas.
Users of the service collectively spend about $1.4 billion per month at the pump with local businesses. Not every consumer searches GasBuddy based on price. Some shop based on the closest station or favorite brand.
GasBuddy is not the only way to find a nearby gas station or one with the best price for gasoline. A quick Google search for the nearest gas station will give you the closest "gas station near me" options. It's a Google feature that has become very useful when drivers are in an unfamiliar area.
Despite Google's dominance in nearby searches, gas prices and ad messaging are two features that Google has yet to implement in its platform.