Smartphone Charging Stations Are 21st Century Drinking Fountains

When a guest comes to your house, you greet them and offer a glass of water to make them feel welcomed. What elemental amenities do shoppers need? Heat, light, restrooms, drinking fountains and more. In the Age of Mobile they also need Connectivity and Power. We consider charging stations to be 21st century drinking fountains for thirsty smartphone-wielding consumers.

We all know how important Mobile is to Retail. For example, in “I-Want-To-Buy Moments” (, 65% of people use their phones. To do so they need two basic amenities, Connectivity and Power.

The winners in Retail are improving in-store “experience”, not only by making it cool and fulfilling, but by making it convenient.  In response to first-order consumer needs, the winners are now providing first-order technologies, namely mobile connectivity and mobile power.

Many retailers appreciate the importance of connectivity, but assume incorrectly that shoppers wield DIY mobile power (backup batteries, charging cables or second devices). In fact, most consumers do not carry their own solutions. In a 5 month 2017 survey in North American retail locations, we learned that 77% of consumers do not wield DIY means to source mobile power. We also heard 95% of users confirm that having a secure recharging amenity enhanced their customer experience.

Retailers should anticipate the “micro-moment” ( when shoppers experience in-store mobile power deficits. Providing a charging amenity is an attractive opportunity, not just to meet an elemental need, but to connect with the shopper and deliver relevant messaging. Recharging a smartphone can be an intimate experience which retailers can leverage to their benefit. At Brightbox we transform a 21st-century problem into a potent opportunity for a venue or brand to touch and delight a consumer.

If you are a retailer, we would ask: how do you intend to meet elemental shopper smartphone needs, particularly in their “I-Want-To-Buy Moments”? You may have satisfied the need for Connectivity. Have you secured a a mobile power budget?


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