FEATURE12 December 2022

2022 business impact of the year – UK: Shell & Strat7 Incite

Automotive Awards Energy Features UK

Shell and Strat7 Incite won the Research Live award for business impact of the year (UK) at the 2022 MRS Awards.

electric vehicle charging space

Shell has set itself targets of 50% of revenues from non-fuel by 2025 and net zero by 2050, and electric vehicle (EV) charging is critical to achieving these objectives.

The Shell global insights team recognised that creating the right context for change, quality and speed of decision making and inspiring people to act were all key.

The team set up three strategic tracking programmes across five markets with insights partner, Strat7 Incite, to monitor the changing needs, attitudes and behaviours of EV users and prospects. These trackers were bolstered by secondary and community sources and ad-hoc studies to further explore the issues identified.

They also established biannual executive forums, bringing together senior execs and separate operational teams into a structured environment to align decision making. Through these forums, teams share insight, update objectives, targets and KPIs, and set in motion local market tactical planning. Between forums, interactive dashboards are used to keep teams abreast of developing trends and sessions are held with global and local teams.

The team also used principles of consumer and organisational psychology to create targeted interventions, designed with the aim of overcoming stakeholders’ human biases and heuristics. For example:

  • The senior leadership was taken on a carpool karaoke event, organised by Bamm, to bring to life the challenges with EV charging
  • Reporting was tailored to the needs of the different functions within the business, making it cognitively easier for people to apply learnings in specific contexts.

The focus on creating the right context for change, allowing the translation of ‘insight to action,’ has directly informed investment decisions at Shell. Achievements attributable to this programme include:

  • Informed capital expenditure decisions worth billions on format and number of charge points on site (from one to four)
  • Decision to expand the UK network to 100,000 public charging points in Britain by 2030 including locations strategy
  • Supported the strategy for convenience retail
  • Investment in the Shell Recharge app, with registrations growing by 100% in the last 12 months (UK, DE and NL)
  • Changes to the physical environment (e.g. lighting)

James Johnstone, general manager global head of downstream insights – customer & data, Shell said: “Fuel retailing is one of the largest consumer categories in the world where the rules have been stable for over half a century… but now is one of those rare moments when a huge category faces a transformation into a completely different category of electric vehicle charging. The rules of the game, the locations and the experience are totally different and the reality is the category is only just forming putting customer insights in the vanguard of the evolution of our business.

“Shaping the future of Shell’s transition from a fuel retailer to an electric vehicle and convenience retailer is a once in a lifetime experience and it is fantastic to receive external recognition of the role insights plays in Shell’s evolution by winning the business impact award (UK).”

The full list of MRS Awards winners can be found here.