How to Succeed as a Utility Online Energy Marketplace

In a Utility Dive article, Guidehouse Insights says differentiating from traditional retailers and building customer engagement are key to marketplace wins

Utility online energy marketplaces, or webstores located within larger energy provider websites, provide e-commerce opportunities for customers to purchase smart home and office products to streamline energy management and comfort. While these marketplaces offer an opportunity for utilities to meet changing customer needs, to be successful, utilities must go beyond offering an online product catalog, and instead take advantage of their unique role as energy management allies.

In an article for Utility Dive, Jessie Mehrhoff, research analyst with Guidehouse Insights, said key to this is distinguishing their offerings from online retail platforms.

“Instead of having a sole focus on moving products, utility marketplaces should become education centers that equip customers with the tools they need to streamline home and office environmental comfort,” Mehrhoff said. “Through additional service offerings, utilities can take full advantage of their marketplace solutions to engage various customer segments.”

According to the article, a few key strategies can help to develop a full customer engagement platform through the marketplace:

  • Provide customers with easy-to-understand educational tools
  • Target marketing of relevant products to customers
  • Advertise rebate programs and financing opportunities
  • Do not limit program enrollment to rebates

“By developing a marketplace solution that serves both as an educational platform and gateway to continued engagement, utilities can solidify their role as allies in the Energy Cloud transformation,” Mehrhoff said.

Read the Utility Dive Article
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