With California gas prices skyrocketing, sometimes more than $2 above the nation’s average, consumers are looking for deals. More than 15 million people monthly use GasBuddy to decide where to stop for fuel.
On Tuesday, the company began giving fuel and convenience stations a new way for consumers to discover their brands based on location.
The Sponsored Search advertising unit bumps a retailer’s closest location to the top position on the list with a paid inclusion, similar to Google’s sponsored search results.
A search for a location triggers GasBuddy’s algorithm. Based on the consumer’s location, the advertiser’s most relevant retail store will appear at the top of the search results.
Jo Brecknock, brand and communications director at BP, estimates an increase of 92% in foot traffic into gas stations from using the new sponsored search ad unit.
The new feature has been beta tested with BP, Arco, ExxonMobil, Shell, Racetrac, GetGo, 76, Phillips66, Citgo, Esso, Valero, and Cumberland Farms.
The sponsored location must be within three miles of the user. The price of the fuel at the location must also be within $0.50 of the lowest gas price available for a given search.
Similar to advertising on a search engine, an eligible sponsored search result will continue to appear until the click quota is reached based on ad budget. If multiple sponsored stations are eligible for a given search, the algorithm will determine the most relevant result to serve, explains Jordan Grossman, EVP of advertising sales at GasBuddy. The ad unit is sold on a cost-per-click model, so brands only pay when a user clicks on the ad,
The options appear on the list screen in the app, which lists all the gas stations near the app users.
“It’s the most popular screen for users of the app,’ Grossman said, explaining that in this screen the user can sort by price or location.
“Fuel brands investing in sponsored search whose locations are located nearby the user and in the price range will appear at the top of the results with an ad label,” he said.
This is not the only ad option that GasBuddy offers. The company offers a suite of ad units depending on the objective for brands such as fuel and convenience stores, quick-serve restaurants, and a variety of consumer packages goods companies that sell products in the stores.
Most recently, the company announced Badges with Wendy’s. In addition, there are Anchor, Stitched, and Drive to Retail ads.