In general customers shopping online for energy will either be businesses or residential customers that require very different targeting and conversion triggers on specific landing pages. Similar to other industries, segmenting the commercial landscape between small/medium sized businesses and large businesses is essential; typically the largest volume of leads being generated is in the small/medium sized business segment.
Residential customers face a myriad of options and typically have a few key questions with respect to costs, commitments, benefits, installation, risk etc. Allaying these concerns and quickly demonstrating the strength of a company’s online brand as well as the immediate financial value to the residential market segment is critical. Consumers perceive a significant amount of choice in the market, whether it is solar, other clean energy or simply shopping for price and reliability of service. Consumers often do not have the same level of brand loyalty/affinity as they might have with other product purchases, that said, there is inertia in switching which may increase the overall lifetime value of a customer.
Implications for A/B testing
Testing messaging on a systematic basis based on hypothesis generation is critical. Often clients have significant customer interaction that they can draw from, which assists in the A/B testing process in that specific customer issues and buying concerns can be identified in advance of any A/B tests being designed and run.
Brand is important, either leveraging an existing brand or making the right impression quickly based on aesthetics can have an impact on conversion rate. Consumers will also infer attributes such as price and value based on aesthetics, even if the messaging is not explicit on these topics. Business customers are similarly evaluating a company based on the impression they get from reviewing the landing page and website.
In both cases, there are many levers that marketers can use to convey a message and help customers infer the correct or desired impression. For example, social proof, whether in the form of testimonials or logos, can create the desired impression of credibility, trust and reliability.