Electric Vehicles (EVS) are coming. I have two Gen X children who are now working professionals and both drive Chevrolet Bolt EVs. In a recent article, Ford’s CEO, Jim Farley, said the pending electric vehicle price war would drive their sell price down to $25,000. The EV field already has many choices. In highly competitive markets like this what determines success? It usually comes down to added-value differentiators.

The Supercharger

Furthermore, EV front-runner, Tesla, continues to work on its strategic plan that focuses on added value to car owners. For example, Tesla’s Supercharger network is easily one of the company’s smartest ideas. Since it takes 20 to 30 minutes to supercharge, Tesla wants its clients to be entertained while waiting.  The company strategically places charging stations at big-box stores near major highway interchanges so customers can walk to a restaurant and shops. In Germany, Tesla recently installed a heated pool at a Supercharger.

With major changes in-car technology and selling methods, the automotive industry must focus on added values to lure customers. Distribution sales are no different.  Technology and selling methods have changed for distributors as well. Distributors need to offer added-value propositions to differentiate themselves from alternative virtual channels.

Added Value Propositions

Here are some of the areas to focus on when considering how to supercharge your added-value offerings.

  • Customer service – The greatest advantage a distributor has over online verticals is customer contact. Continue to find ways to improve customer service.
  • Convenience – Focus on improving store stocking and maintaining a competent staff. Assist your customers in product selection and education. Add free beverages and internet to your stores so clients are more inclined to linger. Costco’s product samples are a good example of how to attract interest in your store.
  • Complexity – Find ways to bundle your products or include assembly and training. Some distributors ask their customers to bring their projects to the store so they can be reviewed for more efficient production methods.
  • Digital technology – The more digitalization a distributor can deploy in its ERP the better. It enables you to demonstrate speed, accuracy, and an understanding of the customer and their needs.

Best Price Differentiator

Lastly, distributors can take a lesson from the automobile industry. As Tesla continues to demonstrate, in a competitive market added value is the best price differentiator.