I don’t often get excited about new consumer apps. However, a behemoth corporation from the long-established fossil fuel industry has delivered an app that makes fueling up the SUV feel upgraded.
Let’s walk through this new app from ExxonMobil and discuss the six screens that make up the core experience. I’ll highlight what I think is really refreshing about this app.
Let me start by saying that the ExxonMobil pumps near me are operated by a company called Rebel. I haven’t been impressed with the overall Rebel experience. So, until I discovered this app, I was purchasing my fuel at less convenient locations such as Wawa and Speedway. With that information out of the way, let’s jump in to the app experience.
1 A simple app loading screen that doesn’t try to do much is up first. This is a good splash screen because it’s quick and it subtly reinforces the combined Exxon and Mobil brands that have been part of the gas station landscape in the USA for decades. Established brands can innovate.
2After the loading screen, the first interactive page is used to confirm the retail location. In my case, I’m at “Rebel 864” which means next to nothing to me, but I feel pretty confident I’m at the correct store thanks to the map. With the name, address and map, I’m ready to click the large blue “Pay for fuel” button.
3 Now that I’m in the “Pay for fuel” flow, I get a really nice slider to select the correct pump. This is the first screen where we are introduced to the simple Prius-like car icon and the stylized mobile fuel pump icon that also aligns with the physical pumps I see.
4 Less friction within consumer apps is the goal. Step 4 is how the app experience becomes better than the analog experience. I’m easily able to pay with Google Pay and I can apply previously earned points for using the app to reduce my costs. In this case, I have enough previously earned points to save $2 USD.
5 This my favorite part. There is something great about using a mobile phone to activate physical devices. These phygital interactions are becoming common in retail experiences. Just think about how Starbucks mobile order ultimately activates a printer that the barista will use to read my coffee order and affix it to my cup. Likewise, this step in the ExxonMobil app is actuating the gas pump. For me, pump 7 is activated and ready to fuel up my car.
6 That’s it. I’m finished fueling. A few seconds after placing the pump back where I got it, the final screen recap shows up on the app. This screen highlights the points I’ve earned and provides a link to the receipt.
I get that Tesla owners probably have a great digital-first fueling experience. To ExxonMobil’s credit, I feel like my fossil fuel experience got some parity with Tesla.
For me, it’s great to deal directly with ExxonMobil since the local retail operator, Rebel, has disappointed me with their stores. Also, who doesn’t like earning points that can be applied to future purchases.
The ExxonMobil app and it’s low friction experience, has me seeking out ExxonMobil fuel pumps that are app ready. I’m willing to ignore the Rebel retail experience. I enjoy the feeling that I’m engaging direct with ExxonMobil (even if I’m not — I don’t know for sure). Well executed mobile app tactics work to drive consumer behavior. No doubt.