Why kiosks are your silent salespeople

We are all familiar with kiosks in the form of ATM’s, information booths or even wayfinders but kiosks can be your silent salespeople, and it’s not just about taking the load off your sales staff, kiosks have a number of distinct benefits.

Some of your customers prefer kiosks. Yes, that’s right, some people prefer kiosks. You just have to look at the self-service area in the supermarket. Customers are seeing this as the new normal. Kiosks put customers in control and not everybody’s previous interactions with ‘real’ salespeople have been positive – or fast – so DIY is becoming the preferred method for many. Kiosks also give customers an welcome option during peak times when service queues are long

Kiosks can provide customers with a lot more product information and can showcase products that aren’t in store, but that are still available for purchase. This is the’ endless aisle’ concept. Customers can explore a large number of products in a catalogue- some may be in store and others can be in the warehouse. To help their product selection, customers can look at detailed product information, product comparisons, 3D animations, etc. Products can then be redeemed in store or delivered from the warehouse to the customer’s home if the kiosk has e-commerce functionality.

Customers spend more using kiosks than when they deal with a ‘human’ salesperson. Research cited in the Harvard Business Review shows this and our own tests have also proven this.

There are a number of reasons people spend more with kiosks. Some purchases have an element of guilt such as desserts or soft drinks so ordering from a person is a barrier, but that issue isn’t there with a kiosk. Kiosks can also be programmed to offer complementary products. It’s the classic ‘would you like fries with that’ strategy.

Sometimes, people feel pressure to make a decision when facing a salesperson and don’t make a totally considered purchase. However, given less time pressure, using a kiosk, a customer is likely to spend more.

The last reason is surprisingly simple. Some people simply aren’t sure how to pronounce a particular product name. The good news is that kiosks don’t judge and are happy to take the order!

Traditionally, kiosks have been installed to service customers during busy periods eliminating the requirement to employ additional staff for peak times. But the role of kiosks is more can be much more than this. Kiosks can provide more information than a salesperson ever can and kiosks can showcase products that can’t be physically displayed and expand the total value of each sale.

For me, the smartest approach is to combine both – real humans and kiosks. This gives choice to your customers, reduced labour costs and increased revenue.

To read a blog by my colleague Stephen Hughes, click here. He talks about the important role of kiosk in convenience stores: “If you don’t serve your customers, somebody else will”