Cell Phone Charging Stations Are Set To Change Retail As We Know It


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Consumer demand for a seamless shopping experience is reshaping the retail landscape. And in this wildly competitive environment, the most innovative retailers are meeting the demand head-on.

 Retail has entered a new era.

It’s no longer a matter of stocking shelves with the newest products while shoppers flock through the doors. The rapid technological advancement of products and in-store services have changed retail forever.

In fact, Forbes even described 2015 as a year of unrelenting competition in retail.

“With the intensifying competitive scenario unfolding, retailers must think ahead and have a vision for the future. They must adjust to the realities of today and create innovative new ways to attract customers,” it writes. “Turning these ideas into reality creates a new shopping environment and recognizes the customer’s demand for innovation.”

What keeps consumers coming back in the highly competitive environment? For starters, in-store technology running the gamut from Apple Pay to use of tablets in fitting rooms.

And now, cell phone charging stations are being added to the list of demands that will keep customers walking into brick-and-mortar stores.

Thanks to insights from the research team of data scientists at GfK, we now know the powerful—and distinctly measurable—effects that cell phone charging services have on retail profit.

ChargeItSpot CEO and founder Doug Baldasare puts it this way: “ChargeItSpot’s innovative retail clients offer their customers free power. While those customers are waiting for their phones to charge, it’s proven that they dwell longer, are more likely to make a purchase and spend more at the register.”

Here’s how.

Cell phone charging stations drive traffic

In studying five retail stores, GfK researchers found that trip mission, meaning customers who came into the store with the primary mission of charging their phone, increased 11 percent when a store had a cell phone charging station.

Candid interviews revealed that multiple customers made the decision to visit these stores not to shop, but because they had charged up there before.

And, when users download the ChargeItSpot app, they’ll be notified with nearby places where they can charge—as well as in-store deals and promotions.

“This means that even if customers aren’t already familiar with, say, the Urban Outfitters ChargeItSpot on 5th Avenue, they can still find it on the app’s map,” Baldasare explains. To that end, customers’ ability to discover charging locations right from their smart phone is proven to drive new traffic to retailers’ products and services.

Free cell phone charging more than doubles dwell time

In the Path Intelligence white paper “Time is Money,” researchers found that 1 percent increase in dwell time results in a sales increase of 1.3 percent. But finding a method to measure, and actually increase, this particular metric is crucial to upping store sales.

The GfK study revealed that dwell time more than doubled in stores with a ChargeItSpot kiosk—giving users plenty of downtime to peruse merchandise and make a subsequent purchase.

Conversions increase more than 50 percent

What’s more, ROI on cell phone charging stations is scientifically proven through a measurable increased conversion rate. Research shows that once customers are in the store, they’re 54 percent more likely to make a purchase. As one Urban Outfitters customer said, “I didn’t come in here to shop. I came in here to charge my phone, and I ended up buying a pair of pants while I was waiting for my phone.”

If that weren’t enough, the average transaction value among customers who charged their phones increased by 29 percent.

What does this all add up to? Thirteen times the return on investment.

Innovative retailers are changing the brick-and-mortar game

Retailers across industries are looking for a solution to find and keep new customers in this competitive landscape. However it’s often a game of trial and error.

“With new technology coming on stream every few months, the challenge is growing,” The Guardian reports. “Retailers must structure their businesses to ensure they make shopping an easy and enjoyable experience through every channel. Those that get it right will reap the rewards. Others will become obsolete.”

But for businesses looking for a proven plan of attack to capture new customers and drive ROI, the ChargeItSpot team is already leading the pack. Whether supporting strategies to increase dwell time and conversions, or taking advantage of a unique omnichannel platform to deliver special offers and engage directly with consumers, we pave the way for each of our clients to change retail as we know it.