What is a kiosk anyway?

June 16, 2015 | by David Mccracken
What is a kiosk anyway?

Remember when your phone was something that you used to talk to other people? It didn’t store numbers, it was attached to a wall, and for some, even had a rotary dial. Now compare that to the phones of today. They record video, they connect you to the entire world, and they can do this from practically anywhere. While the "phone" of today and the "phone" of 20 years ago share the same name, they are completely different in practice.

We're seeing the same transformation with kiosks. What once were clunky, single-function machines are now flexible, omnichannel experiences.

We really should start calling them "smartkiosks" to differentiate just how different they've become.

And the interactive kiosk trend is only going to continue growing.

Growth of Kiosks

Self-service kiosk transactions are growing at a steady 7 percent annual rate in North America (Source). Why are we seeing this growth?

Well, first, it's because today's kiosks greatly enhance the experience for the customer. They are faster and less error-prone. They enable connection and a truly omnichannel experience. They allow customers to get the information on their terms, a trend modern customers are growing to expect.

We're also more comfortable with the technology. We've moved from saying, "I just want to talk to a real person," to preferring the speed and efficiency of kiosk technology. 

What to Consider for Your Kiosk

When investing in your new "smartkiosk," here are a few important factors to consider:

Key capabilities. What are the key things you want your kiosk to do? Keep in mind it is often better to have your kiosk perform one or two functions really well than to try to do everything under the sun.

Think omnichannel networks. How will your kiosk interact with other technology, like digital signs, smartphones and other marketing channels? Consumers love omnichannel communication, so make your kiosk as interactive as possible.

Get practical. Think about the logistics before installing your kiosk. Where will the kiosk need to be within the store to produce the best results? How will you monitor the kiosk software (in-person or remotely)? How will a self-service kiosk impact your employees?

Focus on ROI. Consider how the kiosk will encourage sales and continued purchases. Focusing on omnichannel networks will be a big asset in achieving a high return.

Tracking. How will you measure "success"? What sort of reporting will your kiosk need to deliver?

Appearance. How do you want the kiosk to look? How will it tie in with your branding? 

These are just a few areas to help your kiosk selection process stay on track. Transaction-based kiosks are the way of the future, for retail, hospitality, health care and other industries. Just as smartphones are changing and improving every day, so are kiosks. They are becoming part of interactive omnichannel networks, and are delivering a more comprehensive experience, which is exactly what customers are looking for.

David McCraken has worked in the self-service industry for 15 years.Livewire Digital creates kiosk software for self-service solutions.Article reposted with permission.


Topics: Networking / Connectivity, Software, Trends / Statistics

Companies: Livewire Digital



David Mccracken
I'm a technologist at heart and I'm always looking for ways to help businesses use technology to improve their processes, customer engagement, and ultimately the bottom line. CEO of Livewire Digital - Connecting the world through technology to solve business problems and drive revenue. wwwView David Mccracken's profile on LinkedIn

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