If you’ve ever bought something at a convenience store, it can make you cringe to know you’re paying real money for something you could probably have gotten for next to nothing, by using coupons at the grocery store. And trying to use a paper coupon at a convenience store often isn’t worth the trouble, for you or the store.

But now, that’s about to change. Convenience stores are going high-tech, and accepting digital coupons – just like your grocery store.

A few ahead-of-the-curve convenience stores already offer their own digital coupons. But the people behind the GasBuddy app hope to make digital couponing at convenience stores much more widespread, with many more name-brand offers, just like the ones you’d redeem in your grocery store.

GasBuddy has announced the launch of a new digital coupon platform that it’s making available to convenience stores across the country. Digital coupon offers will show up on the GasBuddy app, a free download that lists current gas prices in your area.

“Every day, GasBuddy helps millions of drivers make fuel purchase decisions, leading them to gas stations to fill up,” GasBuddy co-founder Jason Toews said in a statement. “Now, in addition to driving traffic to the pumps, we will drive consumers inside the stores.”


Digital coupons solve several of the challenges that have prevented many convenience stores from accepting paper coupons. Convenience stores don’t experience anywhere near the volume of coupon sales that a grocery store does, so submitting a small handful of paper coupons for reimbursement can be a hassle. And with many convenience store products geared toward the single-serve size, there are few paper coupons available for what a convenience store sells anyway.

GasBuddy’s Coupon Portal aims to solve these issues by connecting convenience stores and consumer packaged goods companies, encouraging the CPGs to create digital coupons especially for the convenience store channel. The coupons you use at the grocery store may exclude single-serve sized products, but the coupons for convenience stores will be for precisely that – a coupon good for a 20-ounce soda, for example, or a single candy bar.

So GasBuddy users may find that more than just low gas prices will lure them to a specific gas station. If the app shows that a digital coupon offer is available at one nearby gas station that charges a few pennies more per gallon, maybe it will be worth it to fill up and shop there instead.

“Being part of the Coupon Portal was a no-brainer,” Derek Gaskins, Chief Customer Officer of Rutter’s Farm Stores, said in a statement. “Thousands of customers fill up at our stations every day. With GasBuddy’s new offering, the number of these customers coming into our stores to make additional purchases will only increase.”

Rutter’s, a gas station/convenience store chain in central Pennsylvania, is one of ten regional chains that have been participating in a test run of the program before its official launch this week. The Coupon Portal has signed on four CPG companies – Quaker Oats, ConAgra, Prestige Brands and Twang Partners – to offer coupons on the app, with hopes of signing up many more as it adds more retail partners and starts displaying more offers before its 47 million users.

GasBuddy cites a recent survey it conducted, in which 72% of app users said they wanted digital coupons to use in convenience stores, and 65% said digital coupons would “greatly affect their in-store purchases”.

Ultimately, you won’t be able to fill your pantry with convenience store purchases for pennies on the dollar, like you can by using digital coupons at the grocery store. But if digital coupons can save you a buck or two on a drink and a snack for your morning commute or summer road trip, it could be a win-win-win, for the convenience store, the coupon issuer – and you.


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