Everyone has used in-store Wi-Fi and it has become a common in-store amenity for brick-and-mortar retailers. According to a collaborative study by EarthLink Holdings, IHL Group and AirTight Networks, 57% of retailers offer free Wi-Fi for their customers and store employees.
With increasing consumer dependence on cell phones, and the lack of progress with internal phone batteries, phone charging stations are becoming the in-store Wi-Fi.
Why Phone Charging in Retail is Important?
Just as retailers have given in to customer demands for Wi-Fi, stores will also embrace phone charging as an essential in-store feature. Consumers are busier than ever, and keeping our phones charged can prove to be a difficult task when we’re running from the gym, to the office or to happy hour with friends. That’s why retailers like are installing free phone charging stations to keep customers powered up.
By offering this complimentary service, they’re ensuring a stress-free shopping experience for their customers. They’re also increasing customer retention, as many shoppers will simply exit a store as soon as they notice they have low battery.
How do Retailers Benefit?
For retailers, the benefits of offering these kinds of free amenities are tremendous. By requiring a customer to agree to their terms of service before a Wi-Fi connection is established or a phone is charged, they’re receiving permission from customers to gather all kinds of important insights. This type of shopper data can then be used to help retailers tailor coupons and other messages to customers.
How Can Retailers Survive Today?
These numbers are all telling the same story: our attachment to our mobile phones is only growing stronger and brick-and-mortar stores will have to adapt their retail technology offerings to the digital world or they’ll quickly fall out of favor as many retailers have. Sticking to traditional roots has destroyed retailers like Macy’s, J.C. Penney’s, RadioShack, Sears, Kmart, and Toys R Us.
To survive as a retailer today, you have to integrate digital within the in-store experience. The same shoppers who demanded in-store Wi-Fi will also come to expect amenities that will allow them to keep their phones charged so they can take advantage of that free Wi-Fi connection.