With gasoline prices setting one high score after another this year, it stands to reason that anything designed to help consumers save at the pump would be having a moment, and GasBuddy—an app that shows consumers the per-gallon price of gas in their area at a glance—most certainly is.
Amid pump-price trauma, GasBuddy is a friend indeed
The thing is, consumers have always hated buying gas; they just hate it more intensely now. That’s driving record volume in GasBuddy app downloads. The app, which had typically logged about 25,000 downloads every month, raced to 145,000 when pump prices first spiked in March. Conversion to paid membership tiers, and programs such as Pay with GasBuddy that offer discounts on all gasoline purchases, have also soared. Pay with GasBuddy in particular is a financial boon for parent PDI Software, which earns interchange fees commensurate with purchase sizes.
Benefits for marketers who make offers through the GasBuddy app are similarly amplifying, said Brandon Logsdon, president of consumer engagement solutions at PDI. The company also owns Fuel Rewards, an administrator of pump-price-rollback programs on behalf of supermarkets and other entities offering accrued gas discounts as part of their loyalty programs.
“Gasoline has proven over time to be a really reliable emotional mechanism for brands because gas is a grudge purchase whether it’s $2 a gallon or $4 a gallon,” Logsdon said. “It’s only a measure of how big a grudge purchase it is. It’s helpful in a time like now, to put the exclamation point on it.”
While app-store review chatter reveals some uneasiness about privacy and ads in the GasBuddy UX, it’s nothing compared to the tenor of exasperation with gas prices expressed on social channels like Twitter, where GasBuddy is effectively doing its part.