Millennials are demanding better hospitality experiences - here’s why you should listen
It’s 5.30PM. Twenty nine year old Amanda has just left work and has two hours to kill before she meets her friends at a new hotel for dinner. She doesn’t need to go home, that’d be a journey in the opposite direction, but her phone’s about to die and she needs it to negotiate the 45 minute journey to her destination. She’s unfamiliar with that part of town and will need to rely on Google Maps to get her there. She’ll need to find somewhere to top up her battery before the journey.
It should be easy. But it’s not.
Luckily, she’s got a charging cable with her. She usually doesn’t even bother to carry one, but counts her blessings today and begins to look for a cafe or bar to charge her phone. The first place she walks into only has two plugs, and they’re both being used. The next, a busy bar, has none. She’s willing to spend money to charge her phone, a beer or three would be ideal actually, but no one is catering to what she needs. Eventually, after what seems like an age she finds a plug socket at the back of a dingy cafe. It’s not ideal, it’s not even near a seat, but she leaves her phone on the floor to charge a few percent into safety and sips a coffee while she waits. Thirty minutes and a blueberry muffin later, her phone has charged enough and she’s on her way again.
This situation is not unique. Today, almost everyone relies on convenient power.
Sound familiar? Maybe you’ve been in a similar situation to Amanda yourself. The reality is that people everywhere are encountering power issues when they are on the move. We rely on our phones for so much of our lives. Whether it’s for Google Maps, work emails on the go, making plans with friends, booking a taxi or even a flight, chances are that we’re using our mobile devices to do it. Running out of power stops us from living life as we would like. A recent survey from LG concluded that 32% of people would drop whatever they are doing and return home to charge a flat phone battery, and that 90% of people have what is known as ‘battery anxiety’ when their phone charge is low.
The demand for better charging in public venues is being driven by Millennials, now the most powerful and influential consumer demographic when it comes to their spending behavior. Chargifi’s recent How Device Charging is Changing Guest Experience in Hospitality report concluded that this demographic was more likely to enter a venue just to charge their phone, stay longer and spend more if they can charge and importantly, are more likely to leave a venue if they cannot charge their phone. This is something that a massive 25% of millennials have done. That’s a whole lot of revenue walking out the door.
So why does this matter?
Companies who are implementing a clear strategy around charging in their venues are winning customers, and improving their guest experience. The power-hungry population is on the move more than ever with flexible working environments allowing for a workforce that can work from anywhere, any time, as long as they have access to power. Well equipped hotel lobbies and cafes are diversifying by allowing parts of their space to be rented as micro co-working spaces, boosting their revenue by adapting to modern trends in workforce mobility. But no matter if people are working, travelling or going to meet friends, power is central to their activity. Chargifi’s research concluded that one in ten consumers wanted to charge their devices in public venues at least once per day, and that they were willing to spend money to do so. It also concluded that many were often not able to find the access to power that they needed. When 32% of people drop what they are doing and go home to charge their devices, it stands to reason that providing convenient charging for people when they are on the move seizes an opportunity that would otherwise be lost. When consumers are travelling home to charge, they’re not out spending with you.
Today’s charging trends: Ditching the cables with wireless charging
Providing charging sockets for customers often isn’t enough. In our story above, Amanda got lucky, she had a charging cable and plug with her, but how many people actually carry a charger with them everywhere they go? Probably not many. In fact, 38% of people surveyed by Chargifi said that this was the biggest barrier to them charging their phone in public, more so even that not being able to find a place to charge.
Luckily, 85% of phones that will be sold this year will be capable of charging wirelessly. Many consumers are now in the habit of using this technology in their home (even Ikea are selling furniture with wireless charging built in), and are now beginning to expect it in public too. Half of people who own a device capable of wireless charging say that they would be more likely to visit a venue that offered it as a service. Importantly, this number only decreased to 40% among those who did not yet own a device with wireless charging, hinting that when they refresh their phone, the demand for wireless charging will grow exponentially. This is especially considering that the number rose to 61% when taking into account only the 16-24 year olds surveyed.
It’s clear that the companies who want to get ahead of their competition should be offering convenient charging facilities - of any kind - to their customers, and those who want to future-proof their offering should be seriously considering wireless charging for their venue. Consumers are only going to get more mobile and more power hungry, it’s time to adapt now and see the rewards grow.