Will Starbucks Gain an Edge with Wireless Charging?
One thing about smartphones, regardless of brand, is that they all need to be charged. A new trial of phone charging mats at Starbucks — tested in Boston and being rolled out to others in San Jose — suggests that the coffee chain sees this as an opportunity to draw and keep more people in its shops for longer periods of time.
"More and more customers are using Starbucks as their home base and they are looking to recharge in a number of ways," Adam Brotman, chief digital officer, Starbucks Coffee Company, told the New York Daily News. "We have seen positive customer response to wireless charging through our tests in Boston, and are pleased to now extend this experience for our customers in the Silicon Valley area."
A report by AllThingsD says Starbucks is looking to gain an advantage with wireless charging similarly to what it did with Wi-Fi in its stores more than 10 years ago.
The chain’s support of the Duracell Powermat, which operates on one of three competing standards for charging wireless devices recognized by the Power Matters Alliance (PMA), could also influence whatever becomes the most popular alternative going forward. PMA is backed by Google and a number of smartphone makers.
"One hurdle to be overcome: in order for the technology to work, a "charging sleeve" is required for each phone. For the trial, frequent customers in the area were provided with free sleeves."
Mr. Brotman, chief digital officer at Starbucks, said the chain isn’t ready to back a single standard at this point in time.
"It was our first and best guess in terms of the right format," he told AllThingsD. "It is a great testing partnership, and it could get much bigger than this, but we are going to wait and see how the tests go."
- Starbucks Ups the Stakes in Battle Over Wireless Charging – AllThingsD
- Starbucks starts embedding wireless charging mats in its tables – Geek.com
- Starbucks brings wireless charging to Silicon Valley – New York Daily News
What role will wireless charging play in retail and foodservice strategies in the years ahead? Do you see it as important a service as the availability of Wi-Fi? Does Starbucks gain any advantage with its test?