Travelers often face a dilemma when they are exploring a city: Where can they store their bags when they check out of their accommodations and still want to visit a city’s attractions? Services like Stasher seek to meet this need by connecting travelers with local merchants such as shops, hotels, convenience stores and barber shops that might have extra space to store suitcases or other belongings. These businesses, in turn, benefit from helping travelers with their luggage.
Retailers, of course, share some of the revenue from lending out extra space to travelers looking to store their luggage, but they also gain another advantage: Each person who visits their location to store or pick up luggage is a potential customer. Stasher, for example, has seen that 75 percent of people that visit a c-store for luggage storage will buy an item from the merchant when they make a visit. And 25 percent of visitors to a store, hotel, bar or café will buy an item when they visit to store their luggage. The service also has the benefit of introducing travelers to new hotels, particularly hotel chains that have multiple locations.
“It’s a brand touchpoint,” Stasher Co-founder and CCO Anthony Collias told PYMNTS.com in an interview. “It’s an opportunity to bring in people who didn’t stay with them in order to make them aware of the brand.”
To use services such as Stasher, customers can make a booking through a website to store their luggage at a participating location. Customers can pay for the service with a credit card and, once they make a booking, they receive a confirmation email. When they reach a location that accepts their luggage, customers use their phone to show the confirmation email to the business. Although Stasher focuses on suitcases, the service can also store items such as strollers, sports equipment and bikes.
The Use Cases
One of the biggest use cases for services like Stasher are customers of home-sharing sites, such as Airbnb. Like hotel guests, customers of the home-sharing services may find that they have to leave their accommodations by a certain time. To that end, Stasher lets Airbnb hosts give their guests coupon codes to Stasher.
Hotel guests also make use of the service, as some hotels might be less willing to store luggage. And even if a hotel does allow a guest to store his or her luggage, a traveler might find the hotel to be an inconvenient place to do so. For example, a hotel might be far from the city center or not close to transportation options. Hotels also face their own challenges with storing luggage, as it can be challenging to keep track of a bag’s owner between shift changes. Platforms like Stasher help those hotels work around challenges in managing luggage storage.
Whether travelers stay in a hotel or home-share, they face a common challenge: Some attractions do not allow visitors to bring bags into their facilities. Even people who are visiting a city and don’t live too far away might want to use a service like Stasher to store their bags. These potential customers might be visiting a stadium, for example, that doesn’t allow larger backpacks.
In the future, Collias said Stasher wants to expand its service offerings to handle all of the “pain points around luggage.” To that end, the company seeks to broaden its platform to include delivery services from city to airport or city to city or home to city.
When it comes to rolling out new services, platforms like Stasher have a key differentiator: They have a distributed network of places to tap into for luggage storage. Like Airbnb seeking to build a network of homes and Uber building a network of drivers, companies like Stasher aim to build a network of businesses ready to solve a travelers’ luggage storage dilemmas.