Compact, cost effective and convenient, retail kiosks are at the vanguard of the movement that is transforming business today. Technologically speaking, the kiosks feature simple, easy-to-use operations and can be accommodated to sell either physical goods, downloads or informational products. Moreover, they all but eliminate the cost of labor and rent, resulting in higher returns for the business owner.
Requiring a mere two square feet of area on average, retail kiosks stand about as tall as a person—and take up about as much floor space. Depending on the manufacturer’s specs, kiosks can take a variety of shapes. Some are made to resemble glass-fronted vending machines, while others take on the proportions of standing streamlined units, complete with LCD touchscreen monitors and facades with customized graphics.
Their customizability is key. Regardless of the business concern, retail kiosks serve as standalone business ambassadors, taking on the style and theme of an enterprise. Eye-catching graphics and colors boldly highlight your brand without sacrificing any of the operational convenience of the kiosk.
The Advantages of Self-Service
Other advantages of retail kiosks come to mind: long-term cost savings, central web-based control and portability among them. They are cheaper to install and maintain, and because you’re not paying any customer-facing employees, your labor costs shrink dramatically.
Control of the each machine is facilitated from a central command station via the internet. In a virtual instant, a technician can change prices, switch up the offerings, check inventory or perform any number of other routine maintenance tasks.
The mobility of a retail kiosk, too, is a huge advantage. With a traditional retail space, your business is locked in to a particular location—typically bound by a lease agreement. You may be saddled with a wide assortment of fixtures and props that could include furniture, signage, inventory, packaging material and more. In short, you are tied down. A kiosk frees you up. Not only does it eliminate 99% of capital, but the kiosk itself can be easily moved, maximizing point-of-sale interaction with customers.
Another important advantage to utilizing a kiosk is this: modern consumers love self-service. From self-check lines in grocery stores to online shopping sites, people are more inclined than ever to do it themselves. For businesses that rent DVDs, sell portable electronics or other items such as gift cards or downloads, a retail kiosk represents a true revolution that will drive sales to new heights.
Types and Uses
The beauty of a kiosk is that many of their uses have yet to be uncovered. Perhaps you have the next big idea in the self-service retail industry—one that will be replicated over and over again—and a kiosk of one type or another is the perfect way to bring your product to the general public in the most cost-effective manner possible.
Harry Brown writes for several business blogs. Kiosk manufacturers produce hundreds of retail kiosks for any type of business.