Abandon Me Not: Using Reputation, Education and Simplification to Increase Sales of Efficiency Products

By Mallory Combs on July 8, 2016

As energy-efficient technology continues to grow and change, it’s hard for customers to stay up to date on which products work best, are compatible with their system and are the right choice for their particular needs. Too many options without enough information creates indecision and uncertainty. We don’t want customers to think a purchase is a risk and that’s why Simple Energy’s utility-branded marketplaces emphasize reputation, education and simplification to ease the decision process.

Reputation: Simple Energy’s utility-branded marketplaces offer customers personalized recommendations for efficiency products from a reputable source they know and trust: their utility. In an effort to take advantage of the brand familiarity and trust, Simple Energy and its partners
have collaborated to integrate website referrals, or links to the online store from the utility’s website. We select pages where there is a logical transition from the utility site, such as the efficiency page, to the utility store to browse energy-efficient products. 7.16% of customers who enter the store from a link on the utility’s website complete their purchase, which is about 2.89% higher than the national industry average in 2015.

Education: Simple Energy also ensures customers are adequately educated on products and their associated labels and ratings, such as EPA and ENERGY STAR. We do the research for customers and provide them with informative buyer’s guides that simplify the shopping experience. A well-informed customer is much more likely to complete a transaction because he or she sees the value in the purchase.

After introducing automated triggered chats that include detailed information and reminders about the product being viewed, we saw customer service representatives increase their sales assists (where a customer would have failed to complete their purchase if it were not for the customer service representative) by 2.5 times. Customer feedback often addresses the knowledgeable and prompt responses to triggered chats, such as one customer, Beatriz R., who wrote, “The customer representative that helped me was knowledgeable, quick with the replies to the questions I had and suggested sites that I could get more answers to my questions. Very satisfied.”

Simplification: Our brains can only handle so much information and so many decisions in a day, which is why too many options with no information is a recipe for abandoned carts. If there are too many choices, the customer will choose not to decide. By providing a curated list of energy-efficient products, we simplify the infinite number of options to a short, digestible list of the most recommended products that is based on quality, price, reviews and especially the value added.

Not only do these strategies increase sales, but they also are helpful in reducing returns, buyer’s remorse and dissatisfaction with the product due to a lack of information at purchase. Applied in tandem, these strategies drive action and lead customers to complete their purchase without decision anxiety.

This article is part of a series “Abandon Me Not.” Stay tuned for our next installment, focused  on how Simple Energy drives sales with integrated instant rebates.