Three Reasons Building a Marketplace is a Good Idea

Author: Donna Stokes, Marketplace Expert at AM Conservation, Published on: April 8, 2024

 Three Reasons Building a Marketplace is a Good Idea

When I bought my first house, I remember feeling excited and so accomplished, so grown up. But how quickly those feelings faded when I realized I could no longer call upon a landlord for everyday repairs. I wouldn’t call myself a “fix-it” person, but when the old thermostat stopped working and the toilet wouldn’t flush, well, somebody had to take care of it. I ended up making regular treks to my local hardware store, navigating aisles of products and praying I knew which one to pick and that I could figure out how to install it.

I would have appreciated some guidance. I bet many new homeowners would, and really, longtime homeowners, too. Because something will always need to be fixed or upgraded.

Utilities can offer some guidance in the form of marketplaces. They can be a one-stop-shop for anyone, homeowner or businessowner, needing energy- and water-saving products. Adding installation instructions and useful product tips offers a truly useful resource.

Here are three other reasons why building a marketplace is worth your time:

1. People just want to shop online, and that includes with you.

During the last quarter of 2023 e-commerce sales topped $285.2 billion. People buy nearly everything online, from groceries to cars, and more are expecting their utility to offer similar shopping experiences. Don’t you want your products and services to be where all the action is taking place? Many utilities have already jumped on the virtual marketplace train, with current annual product sales estimated at $140 million.

2. Marketplaces allow for instant rebates, instant savings, and instant satisfaction.

Going paper-free has major perks, especially when it comes to rebates. Customers don’t have to deal with the hassle of printing and filling out a form, saving receipts and other proofs of purchase, and mailing everything out. They get their discount at the point of purchase rather than waiting 8 weeks for a check. You wouldn’t have to deal with paper-processing either! You can claim savings instantly, providing a much more accurate, real-time view of your progress toward your savings goals. And since customers will be satisfied with their smooth and seamless online buying experience, they’ll keep coming back, which will help you reach your goals even faster and build a loyal customer base.

3.You can use your marketplace to cross-promote other programs.

Marketplaces do more than drive savings with products. They can also serve as yet another channel to cross-promote your current, related programs. For example, serve up a managed-charging program when a customer checks out an EV charger. Or upon the purchase of a smart thermostat, send a follow-up email about your DR programs. Remember to always position products and services in a way that makes it easier for customers to find what they need and discover how to enhance their energy savings at home and work, increasing engagement and program participation.

Those are just three of many reasons why your utility should consider building a marketplace. One thing I didn’t mention, though, is how easy it is. No, really; don’t let any of this overwhelm you. With AM Conservation’s marketplace solutions, your online store can be launched quickly. Want to learn more? Let’s chat!