Retailers that offer fast charging get customers

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By Alannah Milton

Retailers with fast chargers in their parking bays aren’t just signalling to customers that they’re green. They’re generating retail sales. Fast chargers attract new customers to stores and increase customer dwell time – how long people spend in store.  

The allure of 25kW DC fast chargers is that they can generate over 190km of charge in one hour. That’s enough charge to keep the average urban EV owner fueled for a week. With more Australians going electric, retailers who install fast chargers early will reap the revenue that comes with getting on the map as a fast-charging location. 

JOLT customers are shopping while they charge 

Unlike refuelling a petrol car, EV owners can charge while they’re away from the vehicle. Shopping is one way they fill the time. 

To see if this aligned with the charging behaviour of JOLT users, we put out a survey to our customers. The results stacked up. Well over half of people are shopping or visiting a cafe while they charge, and they want to be able to do more of it: 48% said they’d like to see more cafes near our chargers and 22% want shops nearby.

Similar results are coming out of overseas markets. A recent New Zealand survey found that 55% of EV drivers want to go shopping while they charge.

Customers spend longer in store while charging their EVs

Fast chargers also increase customer dwell time, with EV owners making the most of the opportunity to charge. 

To test this out, an EV charging company installed six chargers at a major US retailer with the goal of understanding how it might attract new customers and influence how long they spent in-store. 

Over nine months, 1,100 unique charging sessions took place. The average charging session was 72 minutes, a 327% increase on the average customer dwell time at the retailer’s stores. This led to approximately $56,000 (USD) in additional revenue. Unsurprisingly, the retailer expanded charger installs across their stores. 

Charging leads to shopping more than shopping leads to charging

EV owners aren’t just charging because they planned to go shopping. Another study coming out of the US put survey requests out at 40 DC fast-charging sites in California. From 162 responses, over 50% of people went shopping while charging, with 43% of these people shopping incidentally. Their average spend was $29.33 (USD). This means that retailers who offer EV chargers capture sales that otherwise wouldn’t have occurred.

EV owners have made it clear that when they charge, they shop. For retailers wanting to generate revenue from this emerging market, installing EV chargers in their parking bays is the magnet. 

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