Kiosks were not terribly popular back in the eighties because your average consumer back then was not very familiar with the technology. Skip forward to today and your average consumer is likely to be a regular web surfer, has an email account and a computer, and is usually familiar with computing technology. Needless to say, acceptance of the kiosk has changed.
The kiosk comes in many forms but it is essentially a PC with a touchscreen interface in an attention-grabbing cabinet. A kiosk can run a web browser and display pages from your company’s Internet shopping site. When connected to the Internet and store network, a kiosk can be updated centrally so that it accesses current or real time stock information.
The in-store kiosk has many uses, including (but not limited to) the following:
- Available stock can be viewed.
- Prices can be checked.
- Specific items in-store can be located.
- Additional product information can be provided by linking to the manufacturer’s website. Alternatively, a more detailed webpage can be accessed that helps the customer make an informed purchasing decision.
- Assistance or tips and techniques can be provided.
- Orders can be placed in-store.By using Internet shopping content, kiosks represent an effective way of leveraging investment in a store website. For example, all retailers see the value in selling higher ticket items but these often demand a greater level of consumer involvement before a purchasing decision is made. Kiosks that provide extensive information on a product have proven to be a successful means of showing the benefits to customers, resulting in a high level of familiarity that can greatly assist in overcoming reservations.
Like Internet shopping, kiosks suit some people more than others. While the interaction with sales staff can never be replaced for many, there are nevertheless many others who like to quietly shop and do their own research. These people are effectively catered for by a kiosk. Sometimes, good customer service is about letting the customer do it themselves.
The kiosk can store a virtually limitless amount of stock in one square metre of space – every item, in every style, every size and every colour. Imagine a system that takes up less than a square metre that can help generate thousands of dollars of sales, whilst being unpaid and unattended. The kiosk can do this for you!
This article originally appeared in ReTales, the newsletter from Australian company Creative Computing. Ask the staff at Creative Computing how they can help create the perfect kiosk for your store or visit www.creativecomputing.com.au/ for more information.