7-Eleven Enters into Retail Media to Gain Ad Dollars


7-Eleven has recently dipped its toe into the Retail Media Network with its new Gulp Media Network to sell advertisements to brands. This tactic isn’t new, but this is the first example we’ve seen of this in convenience stores.

Frank Beard, Senior Marketing and Customer Experience Manager at Standard AI, says that this move could be largely based around needing to make up for lost foot traffic due to EVs. As fewer customers need to refuel their vehicles, there are fewer customers walking into the store and purchasing products.

Frank’s Thoughts:

“Yeah, so this is an interesting move for 7-Eleven. Convenience retailers are in a position right now where they just have to differentiate their CPG offer. This channel’s relied very heavily on fuel to drive traffic in their stores historically, but demand’s been stagnant for the past decade and it’s not looking good in the near future.

Now, to be fair, there’s gonna be a long off-ramp with gasoline and diesel, and I think most EV advocates are probably willing to admit it, but it doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing scenario to make a material impact on convenience retailers, if even 10 or 20% of the customers switch to electric vehicles, what are you gonna do to replace those drop-in visits? You’ve gotta do something.

Now many are moving into food service and see that as a major strategic opportunity here, but they also have to look at their CPG mix. I think you could really make the argument that for years there have probably been more similarities than differences in the products that the channel sells.

You go from one retailer to the next. You see the same CPGs from the major CPG brands. Now, to be fair, 7-Eleven really has done a good job moving into private-label products. But at the same time, so have their competitors. Yesway’s, Circle K’s, and Casey’s Jackson, it seems like everyone’s in private label right now, so what else can you do?

I think this Brands with Heart program, seems like a smart move. If anything, it’s a really creative way to just find some unique brands that have the appetite to grow with a large retailer. But at the end of the day, they really just have to give people compelling reasons to either drive to their stores or interact with them online.

If you’re just gonna sell the same CPG mix as virtually everybody else, then why is anyone going to choose you? What makes you unique? And I think that right now is really the elephant in the room for these retailers.”

Written by Michael Boyer

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