Mini Kiosks for Customer Engagement

In the retail and hospitality industries, “customer engagement” is the latest buzzword, with technology at the forefront of its expansion.

More companies are using kiosks to engage customers and also allow them to serve themselves. Mini kiosks have become extremely popular, as they have a smaller footprint and often make use of a tablet computer, which is easy and affordable for retailers.

Many mini kiosks can be found amidst store shelves, but they are also starting to pop up in fitting rooms. Customers can use mini kiosks in the fitting room to get help from a salesperson, adjust the lighting and music, and even checkout.

Mike Terzich, senior vice president, global sales and marketing, Zebra Technologies, notes the emergence of mini kiosks that have a connection to RFID-enabled smart shelves. RFID readers on smart shelves can read RFID tags embedded in individual articles of clothing. From there, apparel and accessory suggestions can be displayed on the kiosk screen and commands can be used to let an associate know if the shopper is interested in the additional items.

For retailers, the appeal of the mini kiosk is an affordable, easy-to-use solution that will enhance the customers’ experience and bridge the gap between online and brick-and-mortar shopping. In fact, its estimated that worldwide kiosk installations will be over 2.5 million units by next year, up from 1 million units in 2009.

Kiosks are an excellent opportunity for VARs to showcase their capabilities by integrating voice, video, mobility, data capture and marketing into one, easy-to-use solution.

Do you think the kiosk trend will continue—do they add value to your shopping experience?

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