The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf tests mobile chargers for in-store engagement


Mobile java

The Coffee Bean Tea Leaf is rolling out a pilot program that places wireless charging stations into stores to help consumers quickly power up their mobile devices. 

The coffee chain is running the pilot program in several locations in the Los Angeles area through the rest of the year with the possibility of a nationwide expansion if the program goes well. As Wi-Fi becomes more ubiquitous in coffee shops and stores, the goal is to keep consumers in stores for longer periods of time to spur engagement.

“The ability to recharge your phone while you recharge over a latte is a great service we are happy to bring our customers,” said Allie Mayer, marketing manager at The Coffee Bean Tea Leaf, Los Angeles.

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How it works
The wireless charging hot spots are directly built into The Coffee Bean Tea Leafs infrastructures and are placed on tables.

The technology leverages a magnetic field with energy that works without electricity to charge a smartphone.

Promotion for the mobile charging stations

Consumers have three choices in how to power up their mobile devices within The Coffee Bean Tea Leaf locations.

The first way is through a metal ring that is available at participating The Coffee Bean Tea Leaf locations. The ring plugs into a charger and loops around a charging spot.

During the pilot program, the rings are free at The Coffee Bean Tea Leaf locations.

Consumers can also buy a charger-equipped case or power charger for their mobile devices for $50 or $60, respectively. The accessories fit into Duracell chargers wherever they are available.

The power-charging initiative builds on other digital efforts that The Coffee Bean Tea Leaf has recently rolled out.

For example, the chain recently saw a 36 percent lift in local engagement as a result of marrying up its mobile and social presence across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (see story). 

The power stations in action

Find a charger
The Coffee Bean Tea Leaf and Duracell deal also integrates into Duracells Powermat Powermatrix app, which is available for iPhone and Android devices.

Consumers who download the app can locate other nearby stores that offer Duracells wireless charging services.

The app shows consumers how much power they have when plugged in and also includes a branded message along the bottom of the screen.

In addition to The Coffee Bean Tea Leaf, Starbucks, McDonalds and Delta are also running pilot programs with Duracell.

Power stations are also an interesting way that retailers are luring in foot traffic.

For example, Urban Outfitters offers in-store charging stations that also hook up to free Wi-Fi to help consumers with low phone batteries (see story).

As Wi-Fi and charging stations become more readily available, there is also an opportunity for many of these businesses to get a better understanding of what consumers are looking for in-store and what they are doing.

We are all frantic going through the day trying to find our next charge, and theres nothing worse than watching your phones battery die, said Scott Eisenstein, global vice president of external relations at Duracell, New York.

Places like The Coffee Bean Tea Leaf where people expect to see Wi-Fi make the most sense [for our business], so were piggy-backing on that for phones as well, he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York

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