4 Ways Digital Kiosks are Elevating Retail Customer Experience

Retailers are continually looking for ways to improve and automate their operations. Whether it’s through apps, processes, or training, successful organisations are always on the lookout for the next game-changer.

Enter digital kiosks. Digital kiosks (or freestanding displays) are large portrait screens. They come in two main formats. Touchscreen and non-touchscreen. Each format allows for a range of use-cases to suit a variety of organisations and projects. 

In recent years, the price of these screens has dropped significantly making the technology more widely available than ever before.

In this article, we go through 4 ways digital kiosks are elevating the retail customer experience.

1. Digital Wayfinding

Digital wayfinding has become vastly popular in an array of industries adding benefits to both customer experience and organisational operations. These touch screen kiosks have the ability to display interactive digital maps to help users find their way quickly from A to B. Their increase in popularity stems from the added value of providing up-to-date maps and a richer user navigation experience.

Digital wayfinding has proven an essential piece of technology especially for retailers with large stores or locations. Too often customers in large stores or shopping centers find themselves getting lost trying to find a store they like. In most cases, they will only have access to a static plastic or paper map which can be full of confusing routes or locations that no longer exist. With digital wayfinding, however, a customer can touch the screen, search for their desired location, and be served up with a tailored route taking them to their location.

The benefits of digital wayfinding are also experienced by the retailer. Physical store close and open rates within shopping centers are high. This means that static maps and signage can quickly become outdated and need replacing. If they’re not, customers can get easily confused or frustrated when they can’t find a store that is clearly listed on a map. With digital wayfinding, store locations can be updated in an instant meaning your customers know where they can go and the best way of doing so. Furthermore, retailers can save both time and resources by removing the need to print, positively affecting the bottom line.

These digital wayfinding kiosks can also feature creative levels of automation. For example, the screen can be integrated with a data feed or API for store closing times. When the store marks itself as closed, the digital map can automatically update to show which stores are open and which are not. 

2. Information hub

Providing excellent customer service in retail is critical. It increases customer satisfaction, repeat visits, and can help drum up more business through word of mouth. With that being said, retailers are constantly looking out for new methods and technologies that allow them to deliver a better customer service experience.

Information hubs have started making their mark across small and large retail locations. These screens appear in either a normal touch screen format or in the form of a digital kiosk. The content on these screens varies massively, however, all focus on one key goal – Helping the customer. This means content can include wayfinding, digital product catalogues, or information about the store including answers for any questions a customer may have.

The last thing a retailer wants is a customer needing assistance or a question answered and just being left in the dark. If the customer doesn’t get served they can get frustrated, leave, or go online and give negative feedback – all leading to lost sales! An information hub can help alleviate some of this stress and provide automatic, self-serving abilities to customers in an instant. For example, if a customer wants to find out about parking charges and no staff are available, they can go to the information hub, click parking, and get their answers in seconds. These screens can also be used for stock checks and ordering.

3. Advertising and Promotions

Advertising and promoting new sales or products is key to becoming a profitable retailer. If customers don’t know about the latest promotions or items you offer, how can you expect them to buy them or get involved?

It’s no secret retailers love digital screens. When you walk around a shopping center or down the high street you’re greeted by hundreds of dazzling screens in shop windows all trying to tell you why you should spend your money with them. Kiosks, however, haven’t had much game time for advertising… until now.

Retailers have realised that by utilising the touch screen functionality of a digital kiosk they can increase the engagement of their campaigns. Instead of just showing an ad on a screen with the hope a customer will respond to the call to action later, interactive forms can be embedded. This allows a customer to sign up or take advantage of an offer or promotion on the spot. For example, the deal could be “30% today only for customers who sign up to our loyalty scheme”. The customer can press the “sign up” button on the kiosk and be given a quick sign-up form. Once done they can take advantage of the discount.

In addition to their interactive traits, kiosks have also been favoured in advertising thanks to their physical presence. Large freestanding kiosks are hard to miss. The screen is large, sits at eye level, and is brighter than standard displays. This makes it a perfect medium to advertise and capture attention on. The kiosks can also come in non-touch formats which will stop anyone trying to tamper with your advertising content.

4. Digital Product Catalogues

Self-service is a growing trend amongst retailers with shops swapping their tills for self-service points. Instead of customers putting their shopping through a manned conveyor belt, customers are able to do it themselves and at their own pace. Switching to more automated, self-serve solutions allows retailers to operate more efficiently and cost-effectively.

Digital self-serve product catalogues have stormed the retail scene. With a digital kiosk on the shop floor, customers have the ability to browse items, check live stock, and even place an order. This effectively turns your kiosk into an extra full-time employee and can take away some of the stress during busy hours.

These catalogues can also help as a great sales tool. For example, a gym equipment store may not have the floor space to house every model and type of equipment they offer. However, a customer may ask if the store offers a specific product. Instead of the salesperson saying yes it’s on the website, they can show the customer the product on the kiosk and go through why it’s perfect for them, answering any questions along the way.