It is often assumed that small and locally owned businesses have no chance of being competitive against big box chains and retailers. After all, how can a mom-and-pop business win over the hearts of consumers when the corporate establishment down the block has a national recognition and offers lower prices and the latest inventory? While competing on even ground may seem futile; small retailers do have a fighting chance. They can modify their presence and appeal to their consumers through the use of the latest technology to become a recognized brand even in the presence of mega-enterprises.
Give your Consumers an Experience that Even Big Companies Seldom Offer
You would think that with a national brand and a near endless marketing budget, big businesses would implement the latest technology into their promotional schemes. However, this isn’t always the case: step inside your local Walmart or McDonalds, and you will see that most still stick to traditional signs, posters and banners. Maybe it’s an ego thing, and they believe that local businesses are just small fry and incapable of posing a competitive threat on any level. This is where small businesses can capitalize and give their consumers an experience that completely redefines the meaning of customer engagement and interaction. One such method is through the use of interactive kiosks.
How Interactive Kiosks Boost Business
Kiosks are commonplace in shopping malls, airports and train stations. They’re also starting to appear more often in retail stores, eating establishments, museums, city halls and even outdoors and particularly in prominent tourist areas.
What makes kiosks so popular is the fact that they’re fully interactive, thanks to the touchscreens installed in them. Information kiosks, for example, are common in airports where people can look up flight departure and arrival times. Likewise, a kiosk at a university can be used by students to locate classrooms and lecture halls. For stores, customers can use kiosks to learn more about certain products. Think about a hardware store, for example, where customers always seemingly need to flag down an employee because they don’t know which nut or bolt is the right size for fixing a broken pipe. Kiosks can provide all the information in an easy-to-use navigational system.
Advantages of Kiosks for Small Businesses
For small retailers, every little bit of competitive edge they can muster can form a lasting and positive impression on their consumers. Kiosks provide a great deal of benefits for both business and customers. Some of the advantages include:
Self Service – More retailers are utilizing kiosks as an alternative to a cashier and traditional point-of-sale system. This nullifies the need for a human presence and enables consumers to quickly complete a transaction on their own. Some also function similar to a vending machine where consumers can make small purchases.
Reduces Work Load – For small businesses that cannot afford to bring another employee on board, kiosks provide a cost-effective solution and also reduce the workload of existing staff members and prevent them from having to multi-task.
Around-the-Clock Service – Some kiosks are built into the exterior wall of a business. This allows customers to complete a transaction even during off-business hours.
Advertising – When kiosks are not in use, their monitor can display ads. Kiosks, in this sense, double as a digital signage display, which eliminates the need to print and produce paper ads, posters and banners.
Visual Appeal – With its HD monitor and touchscreen capabilities, digital kiosks give off a high-tech vibe that gives consumers a sense that your business is one that cares about using the latest innovation to improve their experience.
Small stores don’t have to relent to the presence of big enterprises and assume that their business is doomed. Every small business is capable of pulling off a David vs. Goliath if they are willing to implement the latest tools and technology available at their disposal.