Retailers are constantly on the lookout for new ways to connect with today’s always connected and on-the-go shopper.Neiman Marcus has started rolling out a new feature in its stores that should be a hit with tech-dependent consumers.
The retailing giant is implementing free phone-charging within its stores, starting with its locations in Washington D.C. and Tysons Corners, VA. The charging kiosks are not simply a way for shoppers to plug in, but rather custom-designed individual lockers that will allow shoppers to lock up their phones while they shop, and return to a fully-charged device. As anyone who has rushed through a store to get things accomplished with only a few precious minutes of battery life left will tell you, knowing that they have a fully-charged phone may spur them to breathe a bit, take in the scenery and enjoy the shopping experience further.
Scott Emmons, the head of Neiman’s Innovation Lab, explained the retailers thought process behind the new innovation to Marketing Daily.
“If I’m going to do amazing things with my mobile app and deliver augmented-reality experiences, for example, it's not going to do me any good if the customer’s phone isn’t charged. She is not going to waste her battery on something a store sends her—she’s saving that lifeline to connect with friends and family. In fact, if she’s worried that her battery is too low, she’s not going to enjoy shopping at all,” Scott explained.
The charging stations are designed by ChargeItSpot, a Philadelphia, PA-based company that recognized a glaring need to help today’s shopper combat the dreaded problem of a low battery. The company’s client list includes names such as Whole Foods, Nordstrom, and Urban Outfitters, and the company’s website touts the sales lift for retailers that have implemented their charging stations.
Neiman views the implementation of the stations as a ‘marketing opportunity’ when shoppers check their phones in and out. Sales, in-store promos and upcoming events that may otherwise go unnoticed come to mind, and the kiosks could play a part in developing additional brand loyalty among consumers. Neiman plans to continue the rollout to include 30 stores by this September. The company has been an early-adopter of several technology-related enhancements through the years, and it sounds like they may be ahead of the curve with the ChargeItSpot rollout as well.