The way people shop has changed
Shoppers in the U.S. make an average of 1.6 trips to the grocery store each week, and most people are loyal to one grocery store: one study found that nearly 70% of consumers have a favorite grocery brand. But despite this level of loyalty, grocery stores have a problem: they’re losing market share. Specialty and convenience stores, as well as farmers’ markets and small-format stores, are drawing shoppers away from traditional grocers, according to NPR.
To compensate for increased competition, many grocers are looking for new ways to attract customers. Some are investing in restaurants, grocery delivery and other unique services for customers. These efforts can be effective, but they also require ongoing investment in human capital. Fortunately, there’s a way to attract shoppers that requires no hiring and minimal management—and it’s guaranteed to become much more popular over the next few years.
Electric vehicle charging brings shoppers back in
The hot new way to attract shoppers to stores is electric vehicle (EV) charging. With half of vehicles sold expected to be electric by 2040, EV charging is a unique way for grocers and other retailers to attract customers. When EV drivers head to the store to stock up for the week, they want to be able to charge their vehicles while they shop, adding enough range to drive back home or run their next errand. As EVs become more prominent on the road and in parking lots, more parking spots can become places where EV drivers charge, and the need to charge can extend shoppers’ time in store.
Multiple leading grocery brands are already offering EV charging: Harris Teeter, Fred Meyer and many others attract EV drivers to stores with the chance to charge up while they shop. The popular regional and national grocery brands using ChargePoint have more than 2000 locations in 45 states and Washington, D.C., where they serve hundreds of thousands of happy shoppers every day.
It’s time to add EV charging to your list
Many of these stores adopted EV charging because their customers asked for it, showing that EV drivers have a voice when it comes to where charging spots are located. At ChargePoint, we make it easy for drivers to recommend a station near them. If you’d like the convenience of charging at your neighborhood grocery store, just let us know and we’ll connect with your local store about it. (Likewise, if you own or work at a store, get in touch with our sales team anytime.)
ChargePoint lets grocers send coupons to EV drivers and monitor charging with ease
Because ChargePoint stations are networked, they include many advanced features. One, called Connections, allows grocery stores to digitally connect with EV drivers who use their stations and virtually extend special offers for EV drivers, like coupons. These special offers become another compelling reason for shoppers to patronize savvy businesses. Drivers can also see current station status and popular charging times in the ChargePoint app, so they can easily check if a station will be available to use when it’s time to go to the store.
Networked stations have additional benefits, like built-in monitoring and reporting. Grocery store staff can rest easy knowing their stations are up and running, and it’s easy to find out how many people are using the stations and when. Reports also provide details on greenhouse gas emissions prevented and electricity costs to validate the investment in charging.
Charging works for leading brands
As EV sales continue growing, ChargePoint anticipates that additional grocery brands will join industry leaders like Fred Meyer and Harris Teeter in bringing the convenience of EV charging to their shoppers. EV drivers can sign up for ChargePoint and use the mobile app to find stations nearby, as well as recommend a station at their local store.