Kiosks are becoming an everyday presence in shopping centers and plazas. Just a few years ago, kiosks were relegated to malls, airports and hotels. Nowadays, they are even appearing in local shops, outdoors and just about any other public place where people tend to congregate. Businesses, regardless of the industry, can benefit from having an interactive kiosk to increase customer engagement and retention.

Consider the following 5 ways in which companies can leverage kiosks to their advantage.

1. Help Customers Select the Right Product

Whether it’s a food product or an electronic item, consumers have endless selections. Just think about the multiple models of smartphones out in the market, or the models of vacuum cleaners, power drills, supplements, medicine and the list goes on and on. This can make the decision difficult for consumers when deciding which brand is best for their needs. With an interactive kiosk, customers can navigate a menu that takes them through a selection of the different models available along with a description of each model.

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If customers are in the supplement aisle looking up the different weight loss products, for example, they can use a kiosk to get a description of each product and learn more about the individual ingredients. They can look up whether product A contains appetite suppressant properties or whether product B contains thermo genic properties that raises body metabolism.

2. An Interactive Kiosk Serves as a Substitute for a Live and Experienced Representative

Of course, not every staff member on the floor may be knowledgeable about a specific product. This is especially the case for warehouse stores that carry a large variety of products. You can’t expect employees to be experts in every product category. However, this is a non-issue if you have an interactive kiosk. Employees can simply guide customers to the kiosk where they can find all the information they need using an easy menu and navigation system.

3. Reduce the Rate of Walk-Outs

Sometimes, if the store is really busy or understaffed, customers may end up leaving the store due to the lack of assistance available. Some customers also expect staff members to approach them and ask if they need help. It is also the case that some customers are just shy and would rather not approach a staffer at all. If the live assistance isn’t immediately available, patrons may opt to exit the store without making a purchase. This leads to a lost sales opportunity and a potential buyer who could have eventually became a long-term and loyal customer.

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This is where a kiosk comes in really handy. It functions as a self-service station where customers can help themselves to the specific information they need without having to flag down an available representative.

4. Encourage Customer Interaction

As suggested in its name, an interactive kiosk is, well, interactive. A hardware store, for example, can input a questionnaire into the system, which customers can take to determine which product model is best for their renovation needs.

Customers looking for paint, for example, can take a brief survey to determine a color that is best for their style of home while also taking into account individual preference. The questionnaire can then conclude the interaction by recommending additional products, such as primers, brushes and paint rollers. This leads to an upsell of additional products and also aids the customer by helping them acquire items they didn’t realize they needed.

5. Learn about Your Demographic

Analytics is extremely important, and most kiosk systems automatically record the information inputted by customers. This is invaluable information that businesses can use to determine consumer trends and which products are getting the most searches. What this means is that if Product A is getting twice the searches of product B, then more marketing can be done to further promote Product A or to promote product B to bring it up to the same sales level as A.

Kiosks free up employees so that they can do their job instead of being held back by an endless barrage of customer enquiries. The presence of a kiosk itself also invites for consumer interaction. The engagement itself may very well create interest in a product where no interest was present before.