Retail

Free Phone Charging May Lure Shoppers Back To Stores

Free Cell Phone Charging

Retailers are banking on a new way to get consumers away from shopping online and back in stores by solving a major headache: charging a mobile device.

ChargeItSpot, a secure phone charging station provider, is helping retailers like Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Under Armour capitalize on the dying cell phones of customers and their need to find a place to charge up.

The Philadelphia-based company, which charges more than 2 million mobile devices annually, is also adding a new survey feature to help retailers gauge how a customer has viewed their shopping experience after they finish using a charging station, Bloomberg reported.

As many retailers face the decision to close down store locations due to dwindling consumer traffic, Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Poonam Goyal said ChargeItSpot stations may serve as a way to help change the scenario.

“If the customer already knows where a station is, that first mover advantage is huge,” Goyal explained. “I will look for that store, whether I’m interested in shopping there or not. While I’m there, you have my attention. This is an excellent way to get foot traffic for both new and existing customers.”

Goyal added that customer feedback from ChargeItSpot’s QuickPoll surveys may also provide much needed insight into the minds of shoppers and help retailers to make smarter product marketing decisions.

During a pilot phase of the QuickPoll surveys, ChargeItSpot reported a 70 to 90 percent completion rate across the eight retail clients testing out the service.

Doug Baldasare, founder and CEO of ChargeItSpot, noted that retailers have yet to see that much success with other methods such as take-home surveys or emailed questionnaires with sweepstakes incentives.

“It’s pretty polarized; the person who chooses to respond either had a really bad or really incredible experience,” Baldasare told Bloomberg. “What we’re really excited about is this is the first way to capture a response from the consumer while they’re still in the store.”

Besides offering the opportunity for customers to charge their devices, a 2014 study by consumer analytics provider GfK found that retailers offering charging stations also saw customers spend more than twice as much time inside the store and nearly 29 percent more money shopping on average.

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