Last Updated On July 25, 2020 / Written By Lauren Christiansen

A Guide into Digital Signage Kiosks and Why Your Business Needs It

The manner in which retailers and corporations provide valuable product information to customers is changing by the day. Decades ago, it was assumed that robots would be utilized within every facet of daily life in order to make shopping, eating, and organizing daily schedules simpler. It was also assumed that companies would incorporate robotics within their business plan to assist potential customers.

Though society is not run entirely by the stereotypical robots imagined in the 1950's, there have been significant technological developments that exist to ease a company's workload, facilitate the checkout experience for the customer, and increase customer loyalty. One of the ways corporations uses technology to relay information and enhance the customer experience is through interactive kiosks and digital signage.

The Benefits of Kiosk Utilization for Every Industry

There is no shortage of what type of companies can use interactive kiosks and digital signage. From retail to grocery chains to healthcare, each industry recognizes the importance of leveraging these self-service solutions. The benefits include

  • Keeps Information Organized
Kiosks keep information organized by streamlining processes within the software, which in turns leads to extended operating hours, less employee work load, and a better customer experience.

  • Promote Products & Company Information
Digital signage kiosks are utilized to offer valuable promotions or rewards programs to consumers. These campaigns are strategically placed in front of customers during checkout to capitalize off another promotional opportunity that goes beyond typical signage.

  • Make Information Accessible
Digital signage kiosks are more accessible to customers, and assist in cutting down the work load of employees. If there's only a few employees working during a holiday season, there's only a certain level of customer service that can be expected. Interactive kiosks take that problem out of the equation by working as its own salesperson and product information guide.

  • Makes Customers Feel at Ease
If high quality software is utilized within the kiosk, then customers can also feel secure in divulging their own sensitive user information. This enhances the company's image, and puts the customer at ease.

  • Opportunity for Customer Information Aggregation
Companies can strategically place customer surveys and other information aggregating tools within the interactive kiosk experience, in order to better know how the customer views the company, or which demographics a certain product is attracting.

Choosing the Right Software

It's important to make sure that the software is utilized in conjunction with digital signage kiosks is both sound and secure. The software platform determines what type of user experience the customer will have and how securely the information is stored.

Effective self-service platforms allow for the integration of multiple components, including the ability to monitor devices remotely and customization. User interface should also be taken into account, offering features like

  • Easy Navigation
Because the goal is to appeal to multiple age groups old and young it's important that the platform is fairly simple to navigate through. The display should be bright and readable, and the menu/dashboard should incorporate a simple user interface.

  • Integration
Simple integration should be a necessity. By allowing a kiosk's programming to sync with already installed POS hardware, transactions and sales data will be logged on both platforms. The EOD sales numbers can also be compared to inform which terminal performed best, exemplifying which checkout process is most effective.

  • Secure
Software must be secure, fostering customer confidence when inputting their personal information, like credit card information during checkout or a phone number to sign up for a rewards program.

Choosing the Right Hardware

Many different customers conduct transactions and look up information on digital signage kiosks. Some businesses choose to put their kiosks outdoors where weather could be a cause for concern, like regions that experience regular rain or snowfall. In relation, seasons are another concern to take into account. These factors make it necessary for companies to be careful in discerning which hardware to use for their kiosks. Hardware must include the qualities such as

  • Durability
Kiosks are accessed publicly, so they can be prone to theft or vandalism. In order to discourage tampering, the hardware and touch screens require tamper-resistant features like compression locks or extra weld points. If the kiosk will be outside, make sure that the hardware is durable in varying weather conditions.

  • Up-to Standard
Interactive kiosks should be created by a manufacturer that follows certain standards and ensure both quality and safety. This includes outdoor vendor kiosks who need both an ISO standard and a UL listing, both of which ensure quality control and a particular level of safety in case a kiosk is tampered with.

Manufacturing, Managing, and Maintaining

When companies design interactive kiosks and digital signage, the design team takes the desired concept and, after much deliberation, creates a functional model that ensures every component is in its place.

After the model is created and every component has been checked, the team then begins actually welding, painting, and cutting each piece so it fits together as an entire kiosk.

Finally, each component is meticulously reviewed before being installed by software engineers. After the engineers install the software, the technology team tests and evaluates each component to ensure it is running properly. When the kiosk is finished, the company then focuses on the maintenance aspects of their kiosks.

To ensure that kiosks are properly maintained and managed after their creation, companies need to evaluate a few different components.

  • Location and Content
Where is the interactive screen placed? What type of content is being conveyed by the software? These are two different aspects that need to be taken into consideration when maintaining kiosk digital signage. The content needs to be clear and readable, whether up close or from afar, displaying aesthetically pleasing coloring, images, and headlines.

  • Monitoring the Kiosk
There are remote monitoring solutions that can keep track of how the kiosk is performing in real-time. If a component breaks down, a notification can be sent to the monitoring solution so it can be fixed as quickly as possible.

  • Custom Alarm Systems
Remote monitoring systems allow for the customization of each alarm, so alerts can be sent out according to their purpose and degree of impertinence. There's also an ability for multiple users to access the alarm information, so anyone on the repair team can see these alarms and address them accordingly.

  • Analyze Data
An effective remote monitoring solution needs to be able to pull information from the kiosk and analyze it on a regular basis. The information that needs to be analyzed can include the number of users who interacted with the system, the duration, and which feature was most frequently utilized. For example, a company can see if a new item was successfully promoted by tracking how many purchased the marketed item. This information can then be analyzed by the marketing team to discern whether or not the advertisement was worthwhile.

Top 3 Benefits

Though the benefits of kiosks have already been discussed, it's important to remember the top 3 reasons why investing in a kiosk is worth the investment.

1. More Interaction Means Accurate Analytics
When a company adds an interactive component to a kiosk, customers will be more willing to use it. If it's user-friendly and provides a customizable, unique experience for customers, then the company will in turn add more kiosk users, and then have more data to analyze. This can help a company's marketing campaign and increase their knowledge of the customer.

2. Connect on an Individual Level
Kiosks allow companies to interact with individuals on both a broad and individual level. A customer might not use the interactive components, but they will notice the advertisement. And, if they go up to the kiosk, they are already connecting with the company's brand and learning valuable product information.

3. Increase Return on Investment
Digital signage kiosks ensure that the benefits outweigh any sort of cost initiative. Streamlining the workday for employees lower labor costs, while offering a unique interactive experience for the customer that leads to more sales is quite worth the initial cost.