Choosing a Kiosk Manufacturer: What to Ask in 2024

Kiosks are a great way to boost any business and are an incredible asset -- if you can find the right manufacturer. Choosing the right partner is crucial to helping your business as not every kiosk manufacturer will understand your particular industry. Before choosing the right one for you, consider the following:

Why are kiosks important for your business?

Digital kiosks have become a common sight in many environments, because they are suitable for a range of different applications. They are can be easier to maintain than many traditional forms of advertisements while also offering functionality not possible via other marketing avenues.  In fact, self-service kiosks offer a range of benefits, including being:

  • cost-effective
  • easily accessible
  • adaptable/flexible
  • a quicker option for many basic services
  • easy to use, resulting in greater customer/end-user satisfaction
  • efficient

choose kiosk manufacturer.

What should you consider when selecting a kiosk manufacturer?

When selecting a kiosk manufacturer, there are a few factors to consider.

Below are some of the key points to take into consideration before selecting a kiosk manufacturing partner.

1. Do you understand what problem you are trying to solve by purchasing a kiosk?

The most important part of purchasing a kiosk is knowing exactly what you intend to do with it. Kiosks are capable of performing many tasks, so isolating and understanding what your needs are before moving forward with vendor selection should be the first order of business. Do you see a large influx of visitors in a specific location? Is your business equipped to handle a large volume of customers all at once? Understanding the problem your kiosk needs to solve is the first step to figuring out which manufacturer is right for you. 

2.  Does your target audience consider kiosks a good solution for their needs as it relates to your business?

Similar to the first concept, but in reverse. Your audience’s needs are paramount, and if having a kiosk solves many of their complaints, you will see repeat business. The right kiosk can demonstrate that your business is adaptable and customer-centric. An example of this would be a quick-service restaurant that sees a large volume of customers that their limited staff can’t handle. The restaurant then installs a kiosk which streamlines much of the process, ensuring that the staff and the customers are happy. However, if a kiosk would not be viewed by customers as something that simplifies their lives, the opposite would be true. 

3. What are the budget constraints for the kiosk project?

Understanding budget limitations is just as important a consideration as anything else. If your company can only afford one kiosk, then understand that and be adaptable. This is one reason why it's so important to know exactly what you need the kiosk to do, and in what environment. Kiosks can be designed to do any number of things, but they certainly don't have to (and frankly, shouldn't) do all of them.  In fact, many kiosks are designed so that they may later be upgraded if additional functionality is desired in the future. 

4. What kiosk functionality is required?

As mentioned above, kiosks have a great deal of utility, but like any machine or computer, they have limitations. Knowing what's absolutely required in terms of functionality will help inform which components, integrations, and software are needed, and which you can do without. When purchasing a kiosk, understand what role they need to fulfill and take the necessary steps to ensure that it is designed to meet those specific needs. If a kiosk is meant for brand awareness, ensure that the display is large and the brand is consistently visible. If a kiosk is meant for NFC payments or transactions, ensure that it is configured properly in terms of components, integrations, and software.

5. Understanding the process from start to finish

Purchasing a kiosk should be viewed as a type of long-term investment. Generally, while the ROI can be substantial, it isn't usually instant. This means that it's in your company's best interest to ensure that the kiosk manufacturer selected doesn't just make the kiosk, but is also above to help maintain it over time so the maximum financial benefits can be realized. 

6. Do you need a custom kiosk or an "out-of-the-box" solution?

Similar to understanding your kiosk needs, understanding whether or not you need a custom kiosk solution is important. Kiosks are available in an almost limitless number of configurations and offer a wide variety of software to enable different functionality. If your company requires custom kiosk software or needs a specific kiosk enclosure design to fit a particular environment, it is important that you find a manufacturer that can manufacture custom kiosk solutions. Not all manufacturers have custom kiosk design and manufacturing capabilities, and they typically tend to be more expensive than stock offerings. Knowing this upfront is an important factor in choosing the right partner.

7. How will your brand benefit from a kiosk?

Before choosing a manufacturer, it is important to understand what benefits they will have for your business not just in terms of immediate financial gains, but also long-term as it relates to brand building. The point of kiosk branding is to create a look and design that is consistent in the public consciousness. The overall design should be consistent with what is seen in all of your marketing materials. As with any advertising, kiosk branding should be done in such a way that customers will positively associate the kiosk and design with your company. 

8. What is the expected ROI of your kiosk investment?

As mentioned previously, self-service kiosks are a long term investment and as such, the ROI might not be as fast as you might expect, depending on the application. If it's primarily a way to market your business, and way to connect to your customer base, the return won't be as obvious as it might be if the kiosk is more transactional in nature. Having reasonable expectations regarding the financial benefits of your kiosk is important. 

9. What does a successful kiosk deployment look like?

An important metric for measuring the success of your kiosk deployment is understanding what success looks like. One way to do this is to examine different case studies about kiosk use in similar environments to your own to get an idea of what the direct and indirect benefits tend to be. Remember that kiosks are a long term investment and can provide excellent ROI, but ROI can be measured in more than one way, and can mean different things to different businesses. 

10.  How will you handle long-term kiosk maintenance?

Kiosks provide a great deal of utility, but they are machines at the end of the day -- ones that are subjected to quite a bit of wear and tear over time. When choosing a manufacturer, it is important to choose a company that issues warranties and can provide post-deployment kiosk service and maintenance. Your kiosks will require routine servicing and software updates, so this step is important to lessen headaches down the road.

Kiosks provide an excellent asset to many companies but finding the right manufacturer with which to do business can be complicated. Understanding your company’s needs and what a kiosk can do for you is crucial before choosing a kiosk manufacturing partner. 

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