Keeping your car running requires some patience. You go to a gas or charging station to refuel or recharge – and then wait. So what better way to engage a captive audience than by rewarding them with coupons?
EVgo, the nation’s largest public fast charging network (EVs) for electric vehicles, has announced a new-expanded program that will provide digital coupons to drivers charging their vehicles outside selected grocery stores in California.
Save Mart, which operates more than 200 stores in California and Northern Nevada, has become a charter member of “Evigo Advantage”, offering coupons through a five-store program. Now, the chain will expand its coupon offers to seven more stores. And EVgo hopes other stores across the country will follow suit.
“Our proprietary technology provides on-the-spot coupons to EV drivers from local businesses when they plug in and start charging,” EVgo explains.
Save Mart first partnered with EVgo in 2015 to install their first electric charging station outside a Save Mart-owned Lucky store in Fremont, California. Since then, Save Mart has installed charging stations outside dozens of other stores, joining other grocery chains that have done the same thing, such as Kroger and Whole Foods.
EV drivers who participate in the EVgo Advantage program and recharge outside stores will “instantly receive an SMS message with a coupon or link to more offers,” EVgo explains. So they can shop, and save, even after their EV is fully charged, even while charging it. “These chargers are so fast, the car should be fully charged when a buyer runs out of groceries for a week,” said Mike Huff, Lucky’s then general manager, when the first charging station was installed.
A recent study by the EVgo Union of Concerned Scientists and Consumer Report shows that grocery stores are far ahead of restaurants, shopping malls, club stores and other locations as the number one choice for the most convenient location to recharge among EV drivers. Pharmacies, however, have one thing in common with all of these choices – they allow multitasking motorists to combine recharging visits with a shopping trip. And a coupon located outside the store at the right time can tempt a potential buyer to come inside the store.
Also, EV recharging stations offer marketing opportunities that gas stations do not You should never leave a running gas pump unattended to shop inside a gas station convenience store and refuel. But since it takes longer to recharge an EV, and it’s safer to do so without actively monitoring the process, a coupon offered at a charging station may be more effective than a coupon offered at a gas station. EVgo’s own survey found that 80% of EV drivers make purchases while charging their vehicles.
“Research shows that consumers are attracted to promotions and we are pleased to offer an additional way to drive customer loyalty to our site hosting partners through Evigo Advantage,” said Evigo CEO Cathy Joey in a statement. “Many of our customers are converting to electric vehicles,” added Hal Levitt, senior vice president of retail operations and supply chains at Save Mart. “Expansion of the EVgo Advantage program is a normal next step for The Save Mart companies.”
EVgo’s research found that the average customer who received a coupon through EVgo Advantage spent 60% more than EVgo customers who did not receive a coupon. So EVgo says its program is a win-win – retailers attract buyers who spend more, while buyers themselves are able to save more.
“Bringing in new customers, giving them more reasons to shop, and increasing how much they spend – that’s why more retailers are turning to Evigo for electric car charging,” says EVgo.
So EV enthusiasts will tell you that there are many benefits to switching from a gas powered car to an electric car. And now, thanks to EVgo’s coupon program – there’s one more.
Photo source: EVgo