Powershop was the world’s first energy company to launch a full service mobile platform.
The Powershop application (‘app’) allows customers to do everything from purchasing energy to tracking their daily usage. They can access billing, get reliable cost estimates, reduce their power costs and access customer service and data insights.
The company says within six months of launching the platform, a third of all power being purchased by customers was through the mobile platform. More than 14,000 customers, which is 28 per cent of the company’s residential base, have downloaded and used the app.
Powershop says there is an overwhelming global trend in business toward mobile access and the company has re-engineered itself from the ground-up as a ‘mobile-first’ energy company.
It says mobile users are more engaged customers and are of more value to the business.
Engaged customers are 52 per cent less likely to switch to a different retailer compared to non-engaged customers. That results in lower retention and acquisition costs and more referrals.
The mobile app has led to almost 800 successful signups, and positively impacted the company’s margin by more than $57,000.
The conversion rate of mobile customers who refer their family and friends is 25 per cent higher than for non-mobile customers. The company’s overall conversion rate, already healthy at 9 to 12 per cent during the past five years, has jumped to more than 20 per cent since the app’s introduction.
Cost to serve is also 18 per cent lower for mobile customers as they are more likely to be self-servicing. Powershop’s current projections show that within the next nine to 12 months mobile will be the primary purchasing channel for Powershop’s engaged customers, making up 58 per cent of the customer base.
According to Powershop, mobile customers are already saving at least 20 per cent more on their electricity than non-mobile customers. Use of the app has cut almost $80,000 from customers’ bills in the past six months. Average savings from the app were $35 with some individuals saving up to $506.
Powershop had to develop a bespoke API to deliver the functionality of the app. The mobile platform was custom built in New Zealand, which means all IP is retained onshore and benefits from overseas export sales. The platform has been exported to Victoria, Australia, where it is being used by 3,000 customers.
The company says the app stands out against competitors’ mobile products for the range of services it provides. It also works for 100 per cent of households, regardless of whether they have a smart meter or not.
Powershop says it has a highly active online community with more of its customers regularly engaging with it than for all the other New Zealand power retailers combined.
And the firm’s on-going commitment to refine and improve the app means Powershop is now helping to build and maintain a strong and sustainable coding culture in New Zealand.
The Innovation in Energy Award category is sponsored by Gentrack