Cadmus used a targeted e-commerce solution to overcome the barriers of traditional brick-and-mortar retail and increase the Mass Save Sponsors’ appliance sales and related program savings.
The Massachusetts ENERGY STAR® Lighting and Products Initiative is sponsored by electric utilities and energy efficiency service providers, including Cape Light Compact, Eversource, National Grid, and Unitil (Sponsors of Mass Save). The goal of the initiative is to increase the supply of, and demand for, energy-efficient lighting and consumer products through customer education and product promotions, as well as rebates and financial incentives in partnership with retailers and manufacturers throughout the Commonwealth.
Like many other lighting and products initiatives throughout the United States in 2013, the Sponsors of Mass Save (Sponsors) had to overcome serious challenges to meet filed energy savings goals for their products program. Faced with reduced customer rebates and incentives, along with fewer eligible measures, the Sponsors’ situation was compounded by limited control of their customers’ in-store experiences and the rapidly changing way consumers shop. Unless the Sponsors undertook cost-effective actions with an immediate impact, they were in jeopardy of not achieving their annual energy savings goals.
Cadmus worked closely with the Sponsors to develop a custom e-commerce solution over the course of a month, concurrently with negotiating and organizing the first promotion. E-commerce was a virtually untapped market for the Sponsors and well-suited for selling their portfolio measures, which had little to no prominence in retail stores. Using Cadmus’ solution, the Sponsors were able to more effectively reach and engage with their customers to sell measures that qualified under the Mass Save products portfolio (e.g., advanced power strips, energy-efficient showerheads, and room air cleaners). Cadmus’ e-commerce solution also allowed Sponsors to offer promotions to a targeted group of consumers—that is, only their customers—something traditional in-store programs had a hard time controlling.
Ensuring Long-Term Success of the E-commerce Platform
After developing and launching the e-commerce platform, Cadmus tested its effectiveness over time by assessing user experiences to ensure they reflected industry standards using feedback loops. Our team made updates to the e-commerce platform based on customer feedback while at the same time ensuring promotional offers only reached eligible customers. We tested multiple methods to administer promotions and evaluated the outcomes, making incremental improvements to the platform based on our findings. In addition, Cadmus used the platform to collect and provide valuable customer data to the Sponsors for tracking program participation, implementing targeted direct marketing, and making overall program improvements.
Strategic Marketing Enhances Platform Performance
To fully maximize the value of the new platform, Cadmus developed and oversaw a systematic customer engagement plan rooted in social media advertising. The plan focused on proactive engagement with Mass Save e-mail subscribers and social media followers through e-mail marketing, social media engagement, and other online touchpoints to drive steady traffic to the e-commerce platform during a 10-day promotional period. Cadmus tested the effectiveness of its marketing strategy through various statistical methods, such as tracking and interpreting marketing analytics and A/B testing, to optimize customer engagement over multiple promotions, improving performance of each subsequent promotion at a lower cost.
By embracing change, and e-commerce, the Sponsors greatly benefited and realized tangible results—increasing engagement with qualified leads, sales, and, ultimately, energy savings.
Increased Consumer Product and Lighting Program Energy Savings
- 196 percent increase in year-over-year energy savings attributable to e-commerce sales for the Sponsors consumer products and lighting programs
Increased Sales for Key Measures
- 95 percent increase in year-over-year sales for measures sold through e-commerce based on cumulative activity
- 217 percent increase in year-over-year sales for room air cleaners
- 343 percent increase in year-over-over sales for energy-efficient showerheads
Increased Engagement with Eligible Customers
- Achieved and maintained a 44 percent e-mail marketing open rate and 13 percent click-through rate
- Increased e-mail list by 35 percent (over 19,000 customers in 2015)—without using paid advertising
- Increased Facebook daily engagement by 45 percent in 2015 (over 2014)
“Cadmus’ energy-efficiency expertise and marketing savvy proved invaluable. They devised an effective strategy whereby we offered more significant price discounts than the standard, inciting consumer trial of energy efficient products. If customers enjoy a positive experience with the products they purchase through social shopping, future purchases will be influenced and behavioral change may occur.”
– Michelle Eburn, National Grid