COMMENTARY

2018 Kiosk Marketplace Census cites positive outlook driven by retail technology

| 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 provides 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 industry segments that participated in the survey: retailers or brands that offer kiosks; hardware manufacturers; software providers; value-added resellers; and hardware component manufacturers.

Most of the statistics contained in the report are based on questionnaires completed by Kiosk Marketplace readers in October and November. Survey participants 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 says in its executive summary. The summary notes that five evolving technologies — kiosk integration with mobile devices; mobile order and pay; data analytics; touchscreens; and remote machine monitoring — are cited as highly important to the industry’s future by all five reader groups.

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

According to the report, the global expansion of mobile commerce has given self-serve kiosks a new importance as retailers and brand marketers seek to integrate rising e-commerce activity 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 notes 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 acknowledges 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 does not separate digital signs and mounted touchscreen tablets from free-standing, self-serve kiosks. 

The report does, 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 are operated by companies operating on different business models, the report says.

The 44-page report is available for purchase at the Kiosk Marketplace 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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