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Oracle Cloud fuels Drop Tank’s next-gen loyalty programs

Drop Tank uses Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and Oracle Autonomous Database to build fuel rewards programs for national fuel brands and local gas store owners.

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About the customer

Building national rewards programs

Drop Tank is on a mission to tap into the data from the myriad of point-of-sale systems used by the diverse companies that own and operate gas stations across the US to offer fuel rewards programs on a national level.

Drop Tank’s loyalty programs go beyond the gas station, partnering with third-parties such as major airlines, hotels, and grocer reward programs.

Since the beginning of 2019, in-network gas stations have grown from 2,100 locations to 9,000 along with the daily volume of peak transactions from 2,500 to over 150,000.

We wanted to make our network of gas stations a reward destination by giving consumers more choice. The program needed to be simple for those gas stations to operate and compelling for consumers to join.
David VanWiggeran, CEO, Drop Tank

Customer Story

Pumping up customer perks

Of the 100,000-plus gas stations across the US, roughly 65% are independently owned under a patchwork of local groups—each with different point-of-sale equipment, product mixes, and customer loyalty programs.

David VanWiggeren and Tim Miller founded Drop Tank with a mission to stitch these stations together to give major fuel brands as well as independent owners a much better loyalty solution—one that offered the kinds of fuel and convenience store rewards that shoppers want. But it would need to be simple for gas stations to operate and compelling for consumers to join.

Originally, Drop Tank physically installed a device in each gas station to onboard the location into the loyalty network, requiring a lot of resources and time to install and maintain the hardware. Then, Drop Tank began using Oracle Integration Services to automatically connect disparate and legacy POS systems, eliminating the device and accelerating growth opportunities. When Drop Tank added another national fuel brand, to become the only gas station loyalty provider in the U.S with two fuel brand customers, the cloud-based integrations enabled the loyalty network to seamlessly connect 4,200 new locations in minutes versus a process that previously took 6 to 12 months.

Drop Tank uses Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse with Oracle Analytics Cloud to analyze daily point-of-sale fuel data from the pump and packaged goods sales data inside the convenience stores through customer segementation and prediction models to create targeted promotions and measure marketing campaign effectiveness. The cloud-based autonomous data warehouse processed initial daily transactions of 2,500 with 500x scalability in minutes to support campaigns in a moment’s notice with loyalty program partners that have millions of members.

Not only does the Oracle modern data platform help Drop Tank reduce time to market and to scale but also eliminate database administration such as provisioning, tuning, securing, and patching. Instead of Drop Tank hiring more database administrators to support its rapid growth, the loyalty company staffs higher skilled data scientists who can take advantage of the robust data warehouse and visualization tools to experiment with marketing campaigns in days compared to weeks or months with manual spreadsheets.

Drop Tank’s fast growth and success led to a strategic decision to buy the source code of its third party loyalty program engine for greater control and migrated it from the open source PostGresSQL database to Oracle Autonomous Transaction Processing in two months for a single cloud tenancy that further reduces administration and increases security, which is critical for the oil industry. Drop Tank also increased availability and disaster recovery by using multiple Oracle cloud data centers across regions and Oracle Data Guard for complete failover and redundancy.

With machine learning logging analytics from Oracle Cloud Observability and Management, Drop Tank monitors the increasing amount of data being ingested into the loyalty network and across its multiple systems in real-time and with event notification.

Oracle CX Advertising and Experience and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure enables DropTank to quickly create microservice sites to engage customers while at the pump and prompt them with a promotional text message to visit inside the store. The integration with Oracle CX Applications and Cloud Infrastructure resulted in developing, testing, and implementing new capabilities in days that used to take six months and disrupt the entire platform.

With Oracle Cloud, Drop Tank plans to continue its rapid growth by adding another 3,500 stores for nationwide coverage with over 250,000 daily transactions and continuously introducing new loyalty programs, promotions, and partnerships and deeper insights that all of its customer and partners demand.

Oracle Cloud portfolio

Oracle Autonomous Database

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure

Oracle Analytics Cloud

Oracle Integration Services

Integration services in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure helped Drop Tank overcome a barrier to growing its business by making it easier for stores to connect into its rewards programs.

We need to be ready to handle 1 million transactions a day, so the scalability and enterprise-grade technology available to us in Oracle Cloud is very important.

David VanWiggeren, CEO, Drop Tank