A kiosk is a digital display or small structure that businesses place in high-traffic areas to provide information or offer self-service options, often incorporating an interactive display screen.
Back in the day, kiosks used to be limited to the digital directories you find in malls and big-box stores. Today, however, there are many more types of kiosks that you can choose from based on the utility you want them to bring to your business. They all offer something unique, and in general, there are two buckets that they fall into: interactive or non-interactive.
Interactive kiosks are ones that customers can engage with and are not static. Many business types use interactive kiosks, including retailers, restaurants, service businesses, and destinations like malls and airports. Interactive kiosks can help customers with wayfinding and navigation, self-service ordering or check-in, making purchases, or even providing internet access.
This type is often what comes to mind when people think of a kiosk. Wayfinding kiosks help customers
find their way through your space and include directories, maps, and directional displays.
Customers can use this to perform shopping activities themselves, without having to recruit or wait on the
assistance of a store associate. This is increasingly preferable among customers as it cuts down on wait
times and gives customers control over their shopping experience. It can even help to boost your sales.
Restaurant ordering kiosks
Digital touch screens that customers can use to create their orders and send them straight to the kitchen.
Another place you will frequently see self-service kiosks is for check-in services at hotels or other hospitality businesses. These kiosks offer a digital display where customers can check into their rooms, flights, events, or otherwise and help to accelerate the check-in process and cut down on lines.
The next type of interactive kiosk we will look at is shoppable kiosks or kiosks that customers can use to browse merchandise and make purchases. In general, there are two types of shoppable kiosks: vending and product catalog kiosks.
Large vending machines filled with your store’s products. Customers can use them to purchase items when
they are outside of your store. You often find these in airports, large malls, and hotels, and they are typically
stocked with smaller items like cosmetic products, accessories, tech items, and other knick-knacks. They
are a great way to increase your reach, improve brand recognition, and inspire purchases outside of your
Another kind of shoppable kiosk is the product catalog kiosk, which provides a digital display where customers can view all your products and even place orders.
These are especially popular in home goods, appliances, technology, and other retail stores with large products that cannot all be stored or displayed in-store or that have a lot of size or other variations.
Digital displays that offer internet access to the public and are designed to improve customer experience, not drive sales. These interactive kiosks are typically found in airports, hotel lobbies, apartment offices, or other hospitality businesses. Aside from a monitor, mouse, and keyboard, internet kiosks will sometimes
include credit card swipe and bill pay capabilities.
In addition to interactive kiosks, there are non-interactive kiosks that businesses use to convey information or advertise goods and services. They are a great way to see how the public might react to a product or idea and can also be used to keep important information easily accessible to improve shoppers’ experiences.
- Food Service/QSR