Automated Retail Kiosks — The Future is Now
The word “kiosk” brings to mind something a little different for everyone. Most probably think of kiosks as freestanding (even though both desk-mount and wall-mount kiosks are popular choices in certain environments), but after that, perception and expectations tend to go in any one of many different directions. wayfinding, coin-counting, ticket dispensing, digital receptionists…there are countless applications.
Beyond more traditional interactive kiosks, there is an entire category experiencing tremendous growth, and that’s automated retail. These modern kiosks dispense products that are far beyond what anyone would expect from a typical vending machine. They feature high-end technologies that match consumer expectations based on the idea that if a customer is about to shell out big money, creating a user experience that is streamlined, personalized and essentially flawless is really the only way to ensure success. This is especially true when there’s not a single salesperson in sight to buffer the transaction if something goes awry.
Brands that have jumped on the automated retail bandwagon are not exactly boutique or experimental; instead, they are highly recognizable, respected companies in their respective industry spaces. Think Lego, ProActive, Apple, Best Buy, and even BMW/Mini — just to name a few. There are several reasons these brands are utilizing automated retail. Some, such as Mini, use these interactive vending machines as a kind of showcase for their product. After all, a car vending machine is quite a novel approach to purchasing — and a good way to attract attention at that.
Other companies — those that put more emphasis on bottom lines than PR — are looking at automated retail kiosks as a smart way to optimize revenues in situations where a traditional store may not make good fiscal sense. Airport space, for instance, is notoriously expensive to lease on a square foot basis so it’s easy to see why building an entire store may not be an optimal solution. However, establishing an automated retail kiosk with a carefully-curated selection of merchandise could very well be an efficient way to establish a presence without committing to 5-10 years on a pricey airport (or shopping mall) lease. With revenues for these machines often averaging $50,000 a year in a comparatively small space, it would seem that automated vending could be an excellent option for smart companies that are willing to look to the future for their selling solutions.
If your company is ready to explore high-tech dispensing kiosks, our experts are available to assist businesses of all sizes in developing a program that is right for their specific needs; just give us a call at (800) 628-3603 ext 525 or submit a request for proposal online and our team will be with you every step of the way.