Two Philadelphia-based companies have teamed up to offer mall-goers a better shopping experience by providing consumers with free phone charging in secure lockers while they continue their shopping.
PREIT, a publicly traded REIT specializing in the ownership and management of differentiated shopping malls, and ChargeItSpot, a four year-old mobile tech company, are the companies offering this at 10 PREIT malls from Michigan to Virginia where consumers can experience ‘stress-free’ shopping in 2016, thanks to the installation of ChargeItSpot mobile phone charging stations.
As the Philadelphia area’s dominant mall landlord, PREIT now has the largest mall footprint of ChargeItSpot phone charging stations in the country, with charging kiosks installed in 10 malls extending beyond its Philadelphia portfolio. Mall locations now equipped with the ChargeItSpot units are: Cherry Hill Mall (Cherry Hill, N.J.), Viewmont Mall (Scranton, Pa.), Woodland Mall (Grand Rapids, Mich.), Willow Grove Park Mall (Willow Grove, Pa.), Valley Mall (Hagerstown, Md.), Springfield Town Center (Springfield, Va.), Mall at Prince Georges (Hyattsville, Md.), Logan Valley Mall (Altoona, Pa.), Exton Square Mall (Exton, Pa.) and Dartmouth Mall (Dartmouth, Mass.).
The ChargeItSpot charging kiosks are fully customizable and offer multiple opportunities for PREIT to engage with consumers in their mall locations. During the kiosks’ test period in December, PREIT used customizable screens to tie into its holiday sweepstakes ‘Best Gift Ever’ promotion, which offered shoppers a chance to win a $10,000 shopping spree along with other prizes when they scanned and uploaded shopping receipts into a PREIT mobile app. On the charging station touchscreen, the kiosk asked shoppers “which prize do you like best” and displayed each of the available prizes. This helped stimulate awareness and adoption of the prize giveaway, while also gathering information on consumer preferences which could be used for future mall giveaways and contests.
“By offering ChargeItSpot phone charging stations at 10 of our properties, we are providing an important convenience for our shoppers, allowing them to stay charged and engage more fully with our retailers,” says Joseph Coradino, CEO of PREIT. These have become increasingly important points as mobile use as part of the omnichannel shopping experience continues to rise.
“This initial installation is part of a company-wide initiative to connect more closely and frequently with our shoppers through mobile communications and state-of-the-art technology and amenities including free WiFi,” says Coradino.
ChargeItSpot’s free mobile app, available to PREIT shoppers, notifies users when their phone’s battery is low and directs them to the nearest ChargeItSpot kiosks so they can power up in secure charging lockers. The charging stations come equipped with eight charging bays, each containing three different charging cables for iPhone and Android phones. Shoppers simply enter their mobile phone number and select a security image in order to begin the user-friendly charging process. When consumers retrieve their phone, they receive an opt-in SMS message thanking them for charging their phones and inviting them to download the PREIT Malls app.
Douglas Baldasare, ChargeItSpot founder and CEO, says that PREIT is a technological leader in its space and has identified and embraced the needs of its shoppers with a strong first phase of deployment of ChargeItSpot across 10 of Preit’s shopping malls. He says that Preit’s investment reflects a commitment to making consumers’ shopping visits a truly enjoyable and social experience.
Since its founding in 2011, ChargeItSpot has set out to solve the problem faced by millions of mobile phone-toting consumers every day – running out of ‘juice’ and no place to get a charge. Today, with kiosk installations across the US and in Canada, ChargeItSpot has quickly become the major provider of secure phone charging stations for national retail stores, specialty retailers, shopping centers, casinos, hospitals, universities, stadiums and other indoor public venues. An innovative omnichannel marketing tool that pleases and engages customers, all while driving foot traffic and sales, ChargeItSpot charging kiosks are poised to become the next must-have retail tech amenity.
(Of course, there are other ways to look at this: if the phone is in the locker being charged, the consumer won’t be able to receive NFC messages, or special offers from consumers when a beacon notifies a store or digital sign that the consumer is in the vicinity! On the other hand, the shoppers can charge their phones while having a lunch or coffee break, then pick them up and get more special offers as they continue shopping –Ed.)
The ChargeItSpot is definitely proving popular: In December, at the 10 malls where the ChargeItSpots were initially installed, more than 8,400 shoppers charged their phones, with an average charge time of 53.1 minutes.
PREIT is a publicly traded real estate investment trust specializing in the ownership and management of differentiated shopping malls. Headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the company owns and operates approximately 27 million sq. ft. of retail space in the Eastern half of the United States with concentration in the Mid-Atlantic region’s MSAs. Since 2012 the company has seen a transformation guided by an emphasis on balance sheet strength, high quality merchandising and disciplined capital expenditures.
Based in Philadelphia, and founded by Wharton graduate Douglas Baldasare, ChargeItSpot creates elegantly designed, fully customizable mobile phone charging kiosks. Built for retail, the stations feature an intuitive, user-friendly touchscreen interface, highly secure locking capability, promotional opportunities, customizable on-screen messages, and robust data tracking and reporting. ChargeItSpot also offers a mobile app that alerts users when their cell phone battery is running low and points them to the nearest ChargeItSpot kiosk. Retail partners include Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Under Armour, Century Casinos, AT&T, PREIT malls and others.
(This article was originally written by Gail Chiasson and was published on DailyDOOH)