Consumer’s obsession with technology has reached new heights, and none more so than with their smartphones – particularly among millennials.
Our phones have replaced the need to carry around watches, diaries and wallets; they give us instant access to the best deals, our bank accounts, and information. It’s therefore no wonder that 66% of us fear our phone battery running out. Unfortunately, the demand we put on our phones to do everything mean they often have a short battery life, often needing recharging at multiple points during the day.
For retailers and shopping centres, this can cause problems when customers leave before they have finished shopping – or cut their shopping trip off early – because their phone is running out. These missed purchases can quickly add up to a huge loss of revenue, particularly in impulse shoppers.
To combat this, some retailers and shopping arcades have introduced charging kiosks which allows customers to leave their phone on charge in a secure box while they shop. The retrieval of their phones requires a long digit pin, chosen by the user, which makes the deposit box extremely secure.
Phone charging kiosks and stalls are not new; they have been around at festivals for as long as smartphones themselves have been. However, the difference here is that these kiosks being implemented in shops and malls are free to use.
Obviously, it costs to install these kiosks, so one could question why bother deploying them if not to charge customers and make money?
The real value of the kiosks lies in the additional time it gives customers to spend in store. One study has shown that the use of these kiosks correlates with the customer spending an extra 2.5 hours in store, while another has shown an extra 20% increase in customer spending.
This quickly amounts to more than what would be gained from charging people to use the kiosk. There is also has the additional benefit of building up customer loyalty, and creating a reason to come in store – particularly if the kiosks are advertised outside. Browsing customers who come in to use the charging point may then be attracted to sales and discounts, or even products they would usually buy elsewhere, and spend money in store, creating a new revenue stream.