I went to refill my car today, while claiming my free pie, it hit home just how complex this one little transaction had become. In the act of paying for the petrol, I:
- Paid with my credit card, accruing reward points with my bank
- Got my FlyBuys card scanned, earning yet more points
- Used a discount voucher from spending over $30 at Coles
- … and of course let’s not forget the pie, which was offered to give people incentive to visit Coles Express (i.e. Shell) instead of their regular petrol station.
This is not unique to Coles either; Woolworths has their Caltex branded petrol stations and Everyday Rewards card program and fuel discount scheme. When you think about the tiny margins involved in petrol retail, the mind boggles.
But of course, it’s not about selling petrol is it? It’s about building brand loyalty, which means that petrol stations are really just big, huge, corner-block advertisements. Oh well. I got my freebie, so can’t complain…
By the way, if you don’t want to miss out on freebies like free pie, follow me on Twitter.