Amazon-owned online retailer, Zappos, which has a reputation for cool customer service, came up with another great idea – Porta Party, which are internet-connected rest rooms in festivals and events that offer a unique experience to users who come out beaming after answering nature’s call in a new, refreshing and engaging environment. This is an excellent example of user connect at a place where the marketer can engage with the customer when he is alone and in a reflective mood. A lasting impression here can ensure a world of goodwill for any brand that handles the opportunity well.
These rest rooms have been so popular that Zappos have run out of units as they are sold out for 2017. The Porta-Party which Zappos first introduced in 2015, have been a runaway hit, prompting CEO, Tony Hsieh to say that it is a great way to disrupt this $2 billion industry by making the pee and poo chores somewhat more interesting if not inviting in crowded and messy places like the music festivals sporting events. These innovative washrooms also provide some data (anonymous) about how users behave in the rest rooms once they are alone inside.
The Zappos Porta Party washrooms a perfect selfie station, a motorized squatty potty, 40-inch weatherproof TV along with the refreshing fragrance of lavender. Users are also rewarded for good behavior with little gifts like gum, temporary tattoos, condoms, lip balm, glow sticks after every flush. Zappos used sensory data to get some analytics of washroom behavior by users – 77% went for the selfie station, 53% activated a feature called squatty feet for better comfort while on the potty and many other details. Hsieh said, “It’s not a great experience anywhere, but imagine if you went to a festival or something and you saw a Zappos porta-potty. I mean, we’ve talked about how it could be as simple as there’s a DJ out front so it’s a port-party while you’re waiting. Or it’s just a really amazing, clean experience.”