Have you ever mused about what it would be like to lead an organization that commands a majority market share in its space and to have access to enough capital to make multiple acquisitions to fill in the gaps in your strategic map? Sounds like a dream scenario to us and it came to our attention that PDI is “living the dream”.
Professional Datasolutions, Inc., or better known as PDI, provides essential software to the convenience retail and petroleum wholesale industries. Since 1983, the company has progressively developed its backoffice solutions to become, in layman’s terms, the “QuickBooks of convenience”. PDI’s solutions are comparatively more sophisticated, but with a client base of over 1,500 representing more than 200,000 locations worldwide, the market dominance is in the same category.
The latest in a series of acquisitions was announced this week as PDI acquired GasBuddy, a mobile app centric service whose moniker is “Helping people save on gas, every day”.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but we do know that GasBuddy reaches the entire convenience and fuel retail channel in terms of locations and has over 5 million active users interacting with its app. The app has been downloaded nearly 90 million times and is one of the highest-rated apps in the history of the Apple App Store.
For consumers, GasBuddy delivers loads of value in terms of saving money on fuel, providing trip planning tools, offering payment options, and marshalling a wide portfolio of third party offers. GasBuddy promotes that it gives the consumer “27 ways to save money on gas at 150,000 gas stations throughout North America and has already helped Americans save $3 billion in fuel since our founding in 2000”.
GasBuddy uses a crowdsourced model to keep track of fuel prices across the country. This grassroots information is often combined with information from oil price information service OPIS to create the best consumer-oriented source of fuel pricing available for retailers.
“By enriching the crowd-sourced gas pricing information and the related conversations that consumers are having,” stated Brandon Logsdon, President and General Manager for Marketing Cloud Solutions at PDI, “we can help retailers drive greater sales and loyalty precisely when and where consumers are ready to buy. This will enhance the experience and utility of the app for its millions of users.”
We asked industry expert Lesley Saitta, Chair Impact 21, a global retail and technology consultancy for additional insight into the meaning of this acquisition both for PDI and for consumers who love GasBuddy. Lesley stated:
“The acquisition of GasBuddy will enable PDI to enhance its direct, digital customer marketing capabilities with convenience and fuel shoppers while enabling retailers to drive increased participation and engagement in their loyalty programs. The combined solution will provide the entire fuel and convenience ecosystem with direct visibility and engagement to potentially 5 million consumers that are actively shopping the channel. The ability to target these consumers with personalized offers and gain valuable insights about their behaviors is truly a turning point for PDI, retailers and most importantly, consumers.”
One of the biggest challenges for convenience retailers is driving customers from the pump to the store. With this in mind, Lesley added:
“The acquisition enables PDI to have insights on where and why consumers purchase fuel and the types of inside offers and loyalty program rewards that will drive behavioral change and impact performance. By integrating GasBuddy into its existing products and services, PDI is providing retailers with new purchasing insights and platforms for engagement with a group of consumers that are already invested in the channel.”