There’s a push for consumer and retail organizations to find new ways to stay competitive. Research from McKinsey shows that turning consumer and retail companies into software-driven innovators is the key to sustainable success. There’s a prime opportunity now for retail organizations capitalizing on EV charging to gain a competitive edge.
Technology enables retailers to meet the evolving needs of their customers, drive operational efficiency, and achieve sustainable growth. For retailers, broader software integration, such as offering EV charging stations, can also drive innovative customer experiences.
EV charging has evolved rapidly in a relatively short period and EV sales are continuing to climb; the US recently surpassed one million EV sales
Like any amenity, the experience is based on the quality of service. When implemented correctly, EV charging can be a powerful tool for customer engagement.
There’s a massive opportunity for retailers to capitalize on EV charging and future-proof their business.
Know Your Customer
More customers today than ever before are driving electric cars. What’s more, the variety of EV models and the diversity of EV drivers has never been greater. Non-Tesla all-electric car registrations more than doubled YoY this September to over 46,500.
As the U.S. EV market accelerates, many people lack easy access to reliable EV charging.
Unlike first-generation EV chargers that require fobs, apps, or cards, next-gen EV chargers need to be compatible with all EV makes and models. It’s critical that drivers in any vehicle can easily discover your EV chargers.
As an extension of your business, it’s important that you deliver an EV charging experience that’s as seamless as possible for the driver.
The same high-level customer service you provide in-store should extend to the EV charging experience in the parking lot. You wouldn’t require your customers shopping in-store to pay a pre-authorization hold fee, download an additional app, or create a separate provider account to buy in-store. But that’s exactly what many EV chargers require.
A poor charging experience remains one of the greatest deterrents to widespread EV adoption. This is because first-generation EV chargers were focused on getting plugs in the ground. Now that the Tesla charger has been adopted as an industry standard, next-generation chargers have different requirements.
Give consumers one of the things they value most: efficiency by delivering a frictionless, end-to-end EV charging experience with a pay-as-you-go charging model.
In addition, the latest EV chargers are equipped with new technology that makes them compatible with every brand of EV. Moreover, they can be integrated with existing consumer-facing applications and services, which means that any EV driver can use them without having to download another application or create a separate provider account.
Security vulnerabilities in EV charging stations threaten drivers and operators. A survey reveals that 30 percent of women surveyed expressed concerns about the overall safety of EV charging locations.
Show your commitment to ensuring the safety of your employees and customers through EV charging. Cameras on new EV chargers are an important security feature to help keep people safe.
Speed is King
Speed in business is everything. Customers expect fast, efficient service. The speed of EV charging has improved significantly. A DC fast charger typically takes less than an hour to fully charge an EV, which is enough time for a shopping trip. Providing fast, reliable EV charging is an excellent way for retail organizations to provide customers with a premium shopping experience.
For customers, EV charging is rapidly becoming a ’must have.’ The 2030 National Charging Network report finds that to support a mid-adoption scenario of 33 million EVs on the road by 2030, the nation will need 28 million reliable charging ports. This includes Level 2 and D.C. fast charging ports at publicly accessible locations like retail stores.
By delivering a frictionless experience and removing the barriers to EV charging, retail organizations have an opportunity to take advantage of EV growth to maximize profit and future-proof their business by offering next-generation EV charging as one of the amenities that sets them apart from the competition.
The author, Hooman Shahidi, is the CEO & Co-founder of EVPassport.