In today’s world, mobile phones are so much more than just devices that can make phone calls or text messages. Instead, they have become essential components of our everyday lives. From communicating with loved ones when you are away from home to checking work emails before your next meeting, it’s safe to say that the majority of people find it hard to go anywhere without their mobile phone in hand.
According to a study conducted by LG, nearly 9 out of 10 people suffer from ‘Low Battery Anxiety’ – the fear of losing power on their phones. For most people, the low battery warning will leave you panicked and on the hunt for a spare charger. By offering a charging solution, venues can help solve this issue for customers.
As the demand for charging increases, venues and businesses are becoming more aware of the potential for mobile phone charging stations. But are venues better to install charging kiosks or portable power banks? In this article, we take a look at the benefits and disadvantages of the two and discuss what solution is the most viable in today’s modern world.
Why should your venue install a phone charging station?
Any company which offers a service where people stay for longer than 10 minutes, will reap benefits from the installation of a mobile phone charging station. From boosting sales to an advantage over competitors, here are our top reasons as to why venues and businesses can benefit from installing a phone charging station:
1. Boost in sales – If you can increase the time and retention a customer spends at your location then it is more than likely those customers will spend more money. If a customer’s phone is low on battery, it is probable that they will leave your venue early to go on the hunt for a phone charger. By providing a charging solution, these customers will stay longer at your venue which will hopefully result in a larger customer spend.
2. Increase in dwell time and customer engagement – Picture this – your customer has to send an important email from your venue and their phone battery goes dead. Instead of ending their time at your business prematurely to locate a phone charger, they will be able to prolong their time at your venue by using your charging services and getting to send that important email.
3. Advantage over competitors – Just like providing Wi-Fi, more and more customers are now expecting venues to offer a phone charging solution, with 60% off customers saying availability of phone charging would influence their venue choice. If people are aware that your venue offers a phone charging service, they may preference visiting over competitors.
4. Drives footfall – Having a charging station installed will help to attract new customers to your venue. Whether or not they had plans to visit your venue in the first place, if they are aware that you offer a charging service and they are in desperate need of a phone charger, they will be drawn in – ultimately increasing foot traffic.
5. Improved customer loyalty – Having a flat battery can not only be frustrating, but inconvenient for customers. Providing a phone charging service will be something that customers value in your establishment. This could result in repeat customers or even positive reviews about your business.
Kiosks vs Power Banks
Installing a phone charging kiosk in your venue can provide your business with an instant solution to flat batteries. These charging stations are typically installed on the wall and are suitable for all venues, including those with limited space. The secure plug-pay-lock system is easy to use, and customers can be confident that their device is safe while charging. Mobile phone charging kiosks ultimately retain customers in the venue providing the service which results in more customers spending money while they wait. Additionally, having a charging kiosk in place will help to avoid staff distractions and diminish the responsibility of charging phones.
Power bank charging stations, on the other hand, offer customers the opportunity to charge their devices through portable power banks. Typically, these power banks can be used anywhere as long as they are returned to any station in the network or venue. Although this charging solution offers great portability, it leaves venues and businesses open to liability for damage or theft. In spite of the fact that power banks can be kept with the customer at all times, they are too big to be kept in a pocket and aren’t safe to be kept on a tabletop. If a customer was using a power bank in a busy bar and left it unattended, there is a risk the power bank could be stolen. In comparison to secure charging kiosks that are permanently fixed to the venue, which leads to lower risk of theft. The portability capabilities and being able to take power banks off-premises also means customers are less likely to spend money while they wait for their phone to charge, in turn, this results in lower customer spend then to say if a venue had a charging kiosk installed.
Another disadvantage in businesses using power banks over phone charging kiosks is that customer’s phones must still have battery power left in order to use the service. As you can assume, this is a major downside considering the charging station is in place to charge up phones with flat batteries. Power banks typically require customers to download an app in order to be able to use the service. This step could also deem complication for some users who aren’t particularly tech-savvy. Without regard to other advantages, a charging kiosk’s plug, play, and lock system will leave businesses confident that their customers will be able to use the charging service without needing any assistance. Plus, the installation of a phone charging kiosk eliminates the hassle or worry for venues looking after individual power banks and in making sure they have all been returned.
Modern smartphones barely manage 24 hours without needing to be recharged, thus, we as consumers have got used to the idea of jumping from one charger to the next. Hence why the power bank has become so powerful in recent years. Yes, a power bank is technically just a plug-and-play product, but there are several things that are disadvantageous for venues installing power bank charging services. Power banks constantly require topping up as they slowly discharge, whereas the kiosk on the other hand, only uses power when in use to charge phones which results in lower power consumption. A power bank is technically nothing more than a big battery and just like other devices, power banks also have a certain number of charge-discharge cycles before it loses capacity. In fact, even if you aren’t using them, lithium-ion batteries tend to lose capacity over time and degrade. According to Cadex Electronics, a battery-testing firm, after a year of storage, a lithium-ion battery that is fully charged will typically lose around 20% of its capacity. Assuming that the power banks within a venue will be used and needed to be constantly topped up, this will mean that they will need to be replaced more often due to the loss of capacity over time. As power banks degrade and need replacing recurrently, the environmental impact is much lower with a charging kiosk.
Although power banks are good for users on the move such as tourists, they aren’t inclusive, aren’t good for the environment, and don’t retain customers on the premises. Installing a phone charging kiosk will increase customer engagement, boost sales and eliminate the responsibility of staff having to look after products.
If you have a favourite bar, restaurant or venue where you would like to see a secure charging kiosk available, please get in touch.