Dan Bladen, CEO and co-founder of Chargifi discusses wireless charging and how it can help us understand and nourish the in-store experience.
The industry is making its move to all things wireless. The launch of three new iPhone models at Apple’s Keynote – all of which are wireless charging enabled – represents a bold industry-wide commitment to a wireless world. Here lies an opportunity for retailers: delivering an exceptional experience by driving in-store innovation will make the shopping experience easier, faster and more integrated with the growing online shopping and delivery experience.
The opportunity of smart wireless charging is beyond power, it’s about monetising on real-time data with a cloud management system and a connected intelligence network that can ultimately improve your bottom line. Providing an around-the-clock, smart solution to connectivity will give brands the opportunity to not only drive footfall and increase in-store dwell time but it also provides the opportunity to monetise on power by giving real-time data insights through people’s connection.
It allows retailers to prioritise face-to-face time with customers. This provides up-to-the-minute information about the usage patterns of a brand’s key customer base, as well as hardware performance, allowing network owners to optimise deployments in high-traffic areas.
This means a physical and measurable touch point in a digital world that triggers deeper engagement and enhances the customer experience, which inevitably increases the likelihood of conversions as the value offered by wireless charging is often far beyond customer expectation.
So, how can wireless charging capability help improve marketing strategy?
With the added challenges presented by newly implemented GDPR regulations, mass deployment of convenient, smart wireless power will be key for businesses to support this truly mobile experience at an individualised level – not just in terms of meeting the need to charge but also to manage wireless power at scale and as a gateway to store services when customers are on site.
Data provided via smart wireless charging can pinpoint the exact location of any customer, and brands are able to make informed assumptions on which direction the user is facing. This knowledge offers the opportunity to strategise how messages are placed in order to display messages in a highly relevant fashion and enhance the customer experience.
This data informs how a retail store should be laid out to maximise ROI, in a way that Wi-Fi and beacons cannot due to accuracy limitations. As a marketer looking to increase store footfall and experience, the potential to glean information on what product is attracting most attention as per ‘gaze time’ is priceless.
It then becomes possible to implement messaging on digital signage – tailored on a consumer-by-consumer basis – at a specific time when the consumer is in store and at the key moment of conversion when a customer is positioned in front of the product. The result creates a highly relevant and more engaging customer experience, which will increase satisfaction and revenue.
One of the benefits of wireless technology is its ability to capture a more receptive audience – interaction is guaranteed when you are servicing an existing need. Footfall or dwell time increase due to wireless power has the potential to create a point of difference.
Encouraging people to come in, sit down and spend money is more important than ever. For example, Chargifi most recent deployment in a global hotel brand’s bar area saw a 64% increase in revenue, with the average charging session lasting 50 minutes.
For example, if a brand has a chain of locations then managing and monitoring charging hotspots in real-time, and fixing hotspots remotely via self-healing technology will reduce the need for expensive servicing, and ensures customers enjoy a pain-free wireless charging experience.
Self-healing technology ensures charging spots to be fixed remotely, and on the resulting ability to manage charging spots in real-time, also means it’s possible to send real-time alerts to ensure software or hardware issues are detected immediately.
There’s no doubt about it – tech talks. By 2020, it’s predicted that there will be six billion smartphone users and wireless power will be the new norm – one that provides companies with an opportunity to monetise on power. We expect to be connected whenever and wherever we are. If consumers choose to stay in an establishment for longer because of guaranteed Wifi connection, just think what they might do in order to keep their devices charged?
The benefits for brands are huge. Imagine being able to access mobile location data from wireless charging points across a hotel – potentially 100 rooms, a lobby and leisure facilities – multiply this across the UK and you could reach thousands of consumers.
Power has now entered into the ‘basic requirements’ category. Wireless charging is already available in a small number of laptops and this will become the case more extensively in a broader range of devices – and even cars – over the coming years. Because of this, there will be increasing opportunities for brands to target an individual in the workspace, at home, socially or on the move.
Through improving the customer experience, brands can create inspiring spaces and drive up footfall while also generating usable, actionable customer data. We live in a universe of death by innovation and marketers must wake up to the fact that it is here or risk the consequences.