According to Oberlo, the number of online shoppers is expected to reach 2.05 billion in 2020. That means that over 26% of the 7.8 billion people in the world is shopping online. Considering the challenges we currently face during a pandemic, those predictions may end up being blown out of the water by the end of the year.
Shopping online has many benefits: the convenience of shopping from your couch, no waiting in long lines to check out, finding great discounts and sales not offered in stores, and the joy of your purchases arriving on your doorstep just a few days later.
Many utility companies see the value in an online marketplace but have to wonder – how do they reach the remaining 74% of shoppers who have yet to make become online shoppers? After all, by logging on they would have access to cheaper prices than they would find in big box stores. Still, there are still large groups of shoppers (older generations or those who are technologically impaired, for example) who hesitate to try a new method of buying.
To EFI, it’s a no-brainer. There are 3 main areas a utility should focus on to ensure their marketplaces are accessible to all, easy to use, and provide a positive touchpoint:
Instant Access to the Marketplace
No one wants to have to remember ANOTHER password on top of also keeping their utility account numbers handy in order to shop the marketplace. Sometimes, having to log in to shop every time is enough to deter shoppers from returning. Online shoppers crave convenience and seamless experience. By allowing customers to access the marketplace using the API from their utility website, the marketplace remembers the shopper, recognizes what region they are shopping from, and lets them return repeatedly with no action needed on their end!
User-Friendly is a MUST!
No one wants to feel the exasperation that comes with a poorly designed website. When a consumer logs on to shop, they want to be able to easily navigate to find what they need, spot great deals to take advantage of, and access recommendations for other products that may pique their interest. An easy-to-use checkout process is also essential to a successful marketplace. It’s rather simple: give the online shopper what they want, upfront and easy to see. No games, no gimmicks – just fantastically discounted EE products that help customers save energy and money!
Buyer’s Guides & Educational Material
How many times have you shopped online but had to then rely on other websites to learn more about a product you’re considering due to the lack of educational material on the product page? There is no need to create more work for your consumer. Utilities can rest assured knowing their marketplaces have been fully stocked with product AND educational material such as buyer’s guides to help shoppers make the right choice, resources to check the compatibility of products with their home, and videos to help them learn more about the product and/or how to install the product.
Give shoppers access to all the information they need to empower them into making fantastic energy-efficient investments!
 “How Many People Shop Online in 2020?” via Oberlo.com
We are very excited to be able to combine the convenience of online shopping with the importance of energy and water efficiency. Customers can have a personalized shopping experience and know they are purchasing high-end products that will help them save energy and water.Steve Z. General Manager of Glendale Water & Power
We had just moved to our new home and really needed to shore up the heating system, figure out how we could afford new windows (they were original), and find out why our heat never stayed in the house. We worked with MassSave and EFI to assess our home, qualify for, and fulfill a heat loan. We were up and running with a new heating system, with a zero interest heat loan in about a week! This couldn't have been easier, and, to be honest, more needed. Thank you EFI and MassSave!Ryan D, Mass Save Marketplace Customer
We’re excited to partner with EFI! Using our existing programs, customers have saved millions of dollars in energy costs over the years. The PPL Marketplace certainly will add to those savings.Mary Ann M. Manager of PPL’s residential EE programs
We worked with EFI to create a product marketplace to offer our customer base an easy to use shopping portal. Our goal this year was to move 500K bulbs across all of our jurisdictions, and the EFI's marketplace and marketing expertise ensured that that number was hit by Q3. These guys know what they are doing, its just that simple.Ron S. Manager – Planning and Evaluation
I am always very happy with your service. I am proud that you want to help us save energy - I bought a ton of light bulbs. Thank you for being one of the few services I use that I can feel good about!Tracey Kitchens - Duke Energy Marketplace Customer
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