Phone Dead? Just Head to Your Nearest Retailer

Charging kiosks offer a solution for brick-and-mortars

While we forecast US retail sales will reach $5.514 trillion in 2019, brick-and-mortar sales growth will slow as ecommerce encroaches on the space.

One way retailers are looking to improve the in-store experience and drive foot traffic—free phone-charging lockers.

ChargeItSpot pioneered the concept in 2011, and installed kiosks in stores like Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue and Target soon thereafter. Their pitch to retailers? Customers come into stores to make a purchase, but the need to recharge their phone could motivate them to linger and buy more.

"Customers are coming into stores after shopping on their devices beforehand, and are planning their trips around these predetermined purchases," said eMarketer principal analyst Andrew Lipsman.

ChargeItSpot commissioned a white paper with The Wharton School, Helios Analytics and GfK to test their concept in 2018. Shoppers who used the charging station stayed in the store twice as long and spent 1.47 times more than if they hadn’t used the station. “Since we started offering these kiosks in 2017, guests have charged their phones hundreds of thousands of times," Target representative Jacqueline DeBuse told The Ringer.