I was daydreaming while filling up at Esso yesterday, when I noticed a couple of ads for their new mobile app which allows you to pay for your petrol using your mobile phone.
The idea of being able to zap a QR code instead of queuing in the shop is appealing, and I am a big fan of using mobile technology to simplify our lives. On the face of it, this app from Esso does just that.
However, I have two really BIG questions:
#1 – How many incidental sales will they lose as the footfall into the shop decreases?
I would imagine to start off with it will take time for people to adopt the app so the impact will be slight, but if 20% of people stopped going inside the Esso store in a year’s time, that surely has to have an impact on revenue?
#2 – How do we actually use the app, when we are not allowed to use our mobile phone on the forecourt of a UK petrol garage?
In the top image I took (whoops, should I be using my mobile there?) you can see the QR code, and to the right of the QR code you can see a number of signs which include the ‘no mobile phones’ sign:
I’m confused. Can we use our mobile phones on the forecourt, or can’t we?
Updated. Esso replies: