COMMENTARY

2018 Kiosk Marketplace Census cites positive outlook driven by retail technology

Jan. 24, 2018 | by Elliot Maras
2018 Kiosk Marketplace Census cites positive outlook driven by retail technology

The 2018 Kiosk Marketplace Census Report has been released, confirming a positive outlook for the self-serve kiosk industry. The report gives statistical insight into the customer segments that self-serve kiosks serve and explores the various technologies that kiosks are using.

Kiosk Marketplace organized its first annual industry census in response to requests from readers seeking reliable data on the size and growth of the self-serve kiosk industry.

The report is divided into five reader segments that participated in the survey: retailers or brands that offer kiosks, kiosk hardware manufacturers, kiosk software manufacturers, kiosk value-added resellers and kiosk hardware component manufacturers.

Most of the statistics contained in the report are based on questionnaires filled out by Kiosk Marketplace readers in October and November of 2017. Readers were asked to provide information about their number of installations, plans for future deployments, revenue, business mix, investment in research and development, operating costs, kiosk content strategy, return on investment, sales methodology, outlook on technology, level of optimism and perceived challenges.

The charts in the report are based on answers from more than 100 completed questionnaires. Kiosk Marketplace also conducted more than 30 phone interviews with readers to get feedback on the survey results.

The most significant factor impacting the self-serve kiosk industry's future is new technology being embraced by retailers, the census notes in its executive summary. The executive summary notes that five evolving technologies — kiosk integration with mobile devices, mobile order and pay, data analytics, touchscreens and remote machine monitoring — were cited as highly important to the industry’s future by all five reader groups.

All of these technologies speak to the expansion of ecommerce and mobile commerce.

The global expansion of mobile commerce, the report noted, has given self-serve kiosks a new importance as retailers and brand marketers seek ways to integrate rising ecommerce with brick-and-mortar stores. 

While the study yielded an overall positive outlook for the self-serve kiosk industry, Kiosk Marketplace encountered some challenges in organizing the information.

The executive summary noted that one of the most difficult challenges in researching self-serve kiosks is the various definitions of the term, "self-serve kiosk." The recent growth of digital signage technology and mounted touchscreen tablets has muddled the definition for many observers. Some consider interactive digital signs and mounted touchscreen tablets to be self-serve kiosks while others do not. 

The report acknowledged the challenge of a lack of an agreed upon term in trying to quantify the size and growth of the self-serve kiosk industry, but it did not separate digital signs and mounted touchscreen tablets from free-standing, self-serve kiosks in compiling the results. 

The report did, however, separate self-serve kiosks from ATMs and traditional vending machines. While acknowledging that self-serve kiosks use some of the same components and technologies as ATMs and vending machines, the latter two types of machines are operated by companies following different business models, the report noted.

The 44-page report is available for purchase at Kiosk Marketplace’s online store. To order the report, click here.


Topics: Banks / Financial, Bill Payment Kiosks, Commentary, Components, Future Trends, Interactive / Touchscreen, Kiosk ROI, Manufacturers, Restaurants, Retail, Retail Kiosks, Return on Investment, Tablets, Trends / Statistics, Vending Kiosks



Elliot Maras
Elliot Maras is the editor of KioskMarketplace.com and FoodTruckOperator.com.

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