10 industries increasing kiosk use
In a fast paced, do-it-yourself world it's no wonder self-service kiosks are gaining popularity and are popping up in more locations. From ATMs to retail vending machines, businesses across the country are realizing the advantages of using kiosks. Aside from not having to staff a kiosk, the user-friendly nature of these machines draws customers in. At one time, ATMs were the only kind of kiosk around. Now, kiosks are used in grocery stores, casinos and hotels. Here's a look at 10 cost-saving or lucrative ways businesses are using them.
The financial world is still the most popular place for kiosks. Making deposits or withdrawals from a car seems like second nature to many, and one research company believes this trend will continue to grow. There will be 2.5 million ATMs around the world by next year, according to a from Retail Banking Research. Despite concerns over saturation and the future of cash, the global ATM market has continued to expand rapidly. More new machines were added worldwide last year than ever before, with total installations approaching 1.8 million.
Checking in for a flight, a doctor's appointment or even a hotel room is now easier than ever through an automated kiosk. Companies using check-in kiosks use the machines as a way to cut down on wait times. At the airport, multiple passengers can check in at once by using a touch-screen monitor to answer a few questions and print boarding passes. At the doctor's office, patients can zip through a few screens and be seen by a doctor faster after electronically checking in. And at a hotel, there is no need to drag luggage through the line of tourists waiting at the front desk, a kiosk can check in a guest quickly and efficiently.
3. Grocery stores
For the "get-in and get-out" grocery shopper, kiosks offer a fast checkout. That is one of the main reasons they have become popular in grocery stores across the U.S. For those wanting to avoid the shoppers with a fist full of coupons, the kiosks are the way to go. Right now customers have to scan each of their items separately, but National Retail Federation's Senior Asset Protection Adviser Joe LaRocca says an improved self-checkout kiosk will make an appearance soon. These kiosks will be equipped with a "tunnel scanner" that will allow shoppers to put their items on a conveyor belt and a machine will scan each item, including unlabeled items like produce.
4. Job applications
People looking to apply for a job are often directed to a kiosk. Job Application kiosksare often set up near the customer service specifically for people looking for work. While these kiosks are mostly found at big box stores, smaller businesses are turning to the machines for simplicity and record keeping.
Vending kiosks have come a long way from dispensing soda cans; they are now stocked with electronics, books and everything in between. When a traveler realizes he forgot his headphones at the hotel, he can scoot over to the nearest kiosk and buy a new set without hassle. Kiosks, like the VIGIX makes product vending a breeze. These innovative machines can sell physical goods ranging from 24 cell-phone-sized boxes to 144 DVD-sized envelopes.
6. Fast food
It makes sense in a fast food restaurant that kiosks would streamline the process of ordering, but this area is still emerging. Restaurant owners worry the kiosk may impersonalize service, but if foreign markets are any indicator, kiosks could take off within the next few years. European and Asian restaurant chains are successfully using kiosks in many establishments.
lot machines are basically a mini-kiosk, but casino executives are going one step further by incorporating loyalty cards into their everyday use. A gambler can now slide a card into his or her favorite machine, the card tracks the activity, and the customer is rewarded through loyalty programs. Kiosks for Casinos are growing in numbers rapidly.
Companies handling tickets of any kind are also turning to kiosks. At some concert halls, the will-call window is now a kiosk, where a customer can print his or her ticket without the need for staff assistance. Tickets to sporting events and movies are also bought and dispensed at kiosks in an effort to keep lines moving and customers happier.
9. Map directory
Located in tourist destinations and well-traveled areas, kiosks that offer a map or directions have become quite popular. Now inside state parks and amusement centers, self service kiosks offer busy sightseers a fast and informative way to get the most out of their trip. At a visitor's center in Rhode Island several kiosks are set up for tourists to check out hot spots in town and learn the best way to travel from place to place.
With the economy still recovering from a recession, small businesses are looking for ways to cut costs. A reception kiosk can be an affordable way for business owners to streamline their main lobby. Kiosks can augment or replace a receptionist. Certain kiosks offer software packages that enable visitors to speak with employees through the Internet, or through an existing network.
What other innovative ways are you seeing businesses use kiosks?
Topics: Trends / Statistics
Companies: Phoenix Kiosk
Kurt Myrick / Rich Bernstein brings more than 10 years of marketing, management and writing experience to Phoenix Kiosk. Rich oversees the daily and long-term direction of the marketing department.