Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Petrol Price Indicator App

Here is new idea for today. This is also mobile app for drivers and motor enthusiasts. As I mentioned yesterday, I prefer particular type of petrol for my car as I did a little research and found out that performance of the car significantly depends on quality of fuel.

There are a few petrol stations of that particular brand in 5 mile radius but the tricky part is the price differs at almost all of them. So you can save 5-7 % depending on capacity of your tank.

So idea for new application or additional function for BMW's app could be petrol price indicator. You specify what brand and type of fuel you prefer and the app shows you the best deal based on optional criteria (distance, minimal price, additional facilities, etc.).

The real problem is prices are change all the time. I am not sure about during the day but overnight most certainly. So how are we going to collect actual prices?

Long time ago, when I was working for one small start-up in Kyiv, Ukraine, we experimented with different types of real-time information and ways it could be conveyed to the end users. We provided market analytics on daily and weekly basis as well as graphical informers. To collect information we had a dedicated person who rung up banks, petrol stations.

That was straightforward approach and it will not work for our app but there is still a solution. We can provide and web UI for companies interested in promoting they prices. Of course, that might diversion from one station with higher price to one with the lowest one and that might cause a drop in revenue. But the most important part it will take away a traffic from another brand's stations.

Another way to collect the data is rely on information submitted by drivers themselves. Of course, this approach is less reliable but it could work.

I am sure there are other possibilities to benefit form such app for Oil companies. For example, keeping loyal customers and extending customer base by luring in people who looking for cheaper petrol prices or nearest petrol station or something like that.

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