Outdoor digital kiosks’ overall use has grown rapidly over the past decade, and the number of different uses for them has grown at an equally rapid pace. From ballparks to college campuses, it seems that just about everyone is starting to ways to integrate outdoor kiosks that benefit both their users and their organizations.
Outdoor digital kiosks are a great way to engage customers or enhance brands’ images. As they tend to be installed in areas with high levels of foot traffic, they allow marketing campaigns and promotions to reach a large number of people at once.
These types of kiosks can be freestanding, attached to buildings, or even to “street furniture,” such as outdoor benches. One of the most popular types of outdoor digital advertising kiosks are Smart City kiosks. These kiosks have multiple uses, including wayfinding and wifi, but feature “attract” screens that rotate through ads for local, regional and national businesses.
Paid parking environments have been transitioning to outdoor digital payment kiosks for well over a decade now, with street parking meters leading the way. But over the past few years, parking lots and garages have been following suit. For anyone who has ever searched their entire car for enough change to “pay the meter,” parking kiosks have felt like nothing short of a miracle.
With fewer and fewer people carrying cash, let alone change, this transition makes complete sense for both consumers and the spaces’ owners. Parking kiosks allow payment to be made easily via card swipe or tap, and tickets may be physically printed, or even digitally transmitted to the user’s phone. This also keeps the stress of lost parking tickets from ever becoming an issue. For instance, if you’ve ever lost your parking ticket from an airport garage, you can see how this would be an enormous benefit!
One of the most interesting uses of outdoor digital kiosks is found in amusement parks. While it may seem strange to think about ordering food at a fast-food restaurant while outside, at an amusement park, that’s sometimes the only viable environment in which to order. This is especially true when you have small kids in tow who aren’t about to patiently wait to eat at one of the few available restaurants.
Food ordering and self-payment kiosks are used to speed up the ordering process and decrease wait times. A few taps on the screen and a swipe later gets a family closer to their giant soft pretzels and slushies more quickly than ever before, while taking a little bit of stress away from parents at the same time.
Outdoor ticket printing kiosks are often found at venues like ballparks and stadiums, both of which are sometimes used for concerts or other types of live entertainment. These kiosks can be used to buy day-of tickets to events, or to purchase tickets for future events while at the venue. For instance, a visitor may be attending a baseball game that day, but notice while buying same-day tickets at the stadium that in 2 weeks, there is a game on the schedule against their team’s biggest rival. The kiosk offers them a convenient opportunity to purchase both sets of tickets at the same time.
One of the newest uses for outdoor digital kiosks is for vehicle emissions testing. While not all states require it, many do, and it’s considered to be one of the least convenient things drivers in these states have to deal with. In order to renew their vehicle’s registration and tags, car owners must have their emissions checked, first. These outdoor kiosks can be placed in almost any outdoor location, allowing drivers to complete testing anytime, anywhere. They simply enter or scan the information in the letter sent to them by their state of registration, swipe or tap to pay for the test, and then connect the testing device built into the kiosk to their car. Post-test, they take the printed receipt which tells them whether their vehicle passed or failed. All of this can be completed in about 15 minutes, flat, without the need for an attendant’s assistance.
There are many great examples of using outdoor digital kiosks for communication purposes, but one of the best is their use on college campuses. These kiosks offer schools an opportunity to speak directly to students, educators and visitors about anything important, including school events like upcoming plays or concerts, to news or reminders about tuition payment deadlines or class sign-ups.
Outdoor kiosks have many benefits to both users and the organizations who choose to deploy them.
Outdoor digital kiosks allow organizations a way to directly communicate with a given audience. In a large city, they may be used to announce changes to health protocols, such as indoor masking requirements, helping to protect public health. In an amusement park, they are able to showcase information about new rides and attractions, including wait times, or even new restaurant or food kiosk menu items, offering an opportunity to increase sales or customer time in the park.
Smart City kiosks and those outdoor digital kiosks round on college campuses can be essential tools for those who are unfamiliar with the area. In large cities, they can help familiarize visitors with their surroundings, giving them a level of comfort that makes it more likely they’ll return. On educational campuses, especially those of big state schools, they are incredibly helpful for new students who may not know their way around. These kiosks offer an easy way for these users to become more comfortable with their environment during what it often already a fairly stressful time – starting college.
Advertising can be expensive, and for small local businesses, it can be so much so that it makes paid advertising nearly impossible to fit into their budgets. Outdoor digital kiosks offer a more affordable way for local businesses to advertise their good and services. Because these kiosks rotate through a variety of digital ads, the cost is divided among multiple businesses, depending on how big the ad is, how frequently it’s shown and where, the time of day it runs, and how long it stays visible at a time. This makes it a more flexible and affordable option that ultimately benefits both the kiosk’s owner, and the business that advertises.
Organizations are found many interesting ways to use digital outdoor kiosks to increase audience engagement. For instance, integrated cameras connected to wifi can allow users to take photos of themselves and their friends in their current environment, and have them sent directly to their smartphones. Some of the more sophisticated kiosks even utilize augmented reality (AR), incorporating famous landmarks or signature products into the photo automatically. Other businesses have gamified their kiosks with built-in apps that require the user’s physical engagement in order to play them. These games generally feature new products or services that the company is working to promote. Using kiosks to increase customer engagement in ways that creates a positive user experience can help enhance a brand’s image and ultimately increase revenue and loyalty.
Self-service kiosks have grown in popularity for years now, but the COVID-19 pandemic spurred growth like never before. This has forced more customers to become used to self-service technologies much more quickly than they might have, previously. Outdoor kiosks are no different, as they give users a way to complete transactions or get help without interacting with a representative or agent. From outdoor airport check-in and luggage tagging kiosks, to outdoor wayfinding directories, these kiosks offer convenience to users while decreasing overhead via automation for the organizations that deploy them.
While an outdoor digital kiosk can be a serious investment, the many benefits make it clear why they are often well worth considering.
Outdoor digital kiosks can help decrease overhead costs associated with staffing. Many simpler tasks that don’t require a live agent or associate can be handled by kiosks.
Automating tasks with outdoor digital kiosks can help eliminate human error and speed up the processing of simpler transactions.
When simpler interactions are transferred to a self-service kiosk, it allows users the freedom to find the information they need or make the transactions they need without tracking down a customer service representative or other employee. Kiosks can also be faster than people wh3en certain tasks have been automated. This can save them precious time during what’s likely a busy day, leaving them happier than when they first arrived, therefore enhancing the company’s or organization’s overall image.
With 100+ years of experience as a leading American kiosk manufacturer, REDYREF has the expertise to design, manufacture and deploy digital outdoor kiosks for almost any environment. Interested in learning more? Request an online quote for your kiosk project, or call 1.800.628.3603 for additional information.