Aral AG, Bochum
Interactive product advice at filling stations throughout Germany.

NameAral AG
SectorAral is No. 1 in the German filling station market and always offers customers the best filling station experience at over 2,500 filling stations throughout Germany. With around 1.6 million customer contacts, 60,000 car washes and 22,000 tonnes of fuel sales per day, Aral is the undisputed no. 1 on the German filling station market.
Period2012 – 2017

Project overview

Since June 2012, Aral AG has been testing a new advisory service in selected filling stations throughout Germany: car drivers can identify the right product for their individual vehicle at a terminal from a range of oil, windscreen wipers, lights, anti-freeze, car wash and care products and then buy them on site and have the relevant product information sent via SMS (text) and email.

The terminal-supported on-site advice benefits both end consumers as well as filling station employees.

Car drivers can quickly and easily find the information they need and thus simply find the right product. There is no need for filling station personnel, or car mechanics to provide information. There is also no need for detailed knowledge about a customer’s car to use the system successfully. A brief look at the driving license is all that’s needed to obtain information on the engine, or year of construction of the vehicle.

Once the right product has been found, the selection can be verified using the integral scanner, dealing with any final pre-purchase uncertainties. Should the product be unavailable on site, the product details can be sent by SMS (text) or email via the UMTS module to provide a complete advisory service.

The terminal also supports employees when advising customers or during sales discussions. As personnel frequently change in filling stations, specific vehicle-related knowledge is often inadequate or only superficial. The terminal delivers reliable information in seconds directly at the sales counter, thereby filling any gaps in user advice. At the same time, the automatic advice point also saves employees’ time, freeing up resources for other work.

Project details

Marketing Factory has been supporting Aral AG since the start of this pilot project. Following the concept development and layout phase, the website was implemented within a TYPO3 application. Marketing Factory installed a total of 6 extensions for this, 4 of which we developed directly by us. The unique challenge laid in ensuring that the data could be managed in terms of content via an Excel file and assigned to a large number of car brands.

To achieve this we developed a user interface, which supports the regular import of data in Excel format. In addition, a special caching strategy was also developed, which ensured the best possible user experience through short response times at the terminal.

All changes to the software, layout or content were carried out at a single point in the content management system (CMS). A copy of this CMS is produced and exported to an external server to distribute it to all terminals in the stations. A copy was always provided to the customer to view and take home via UMTS.

It was supplied to the filling stations as soon as this has been completed.