Retail Customer Experience: Does Mobile Render Kiosks Irrelevant?
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion
is a summary of a current article from Retail Customer Experience, a
daily news portal devoted to helping retailers differentiate the shopping experience.
and rumors are running rampant about whether retailers will combine kiosk and
mobile technology to serve consumers or if mobile will simply replace kiosks.
fact, Troy Carroll, the CEO of Intava, a provider of interactive retail technology,
declared 2010 as "the year the kiosk died" in a recent
article published on Retail Customer Experience.
"This was the year retailers’ attitudes turned against the kiosk," wrote
Mr. Carroll. "Without exception, every retailer I spoke to about traditional
kiosks this year met the topic with frowning brows, shaking heads or statements
that kiosks simply aren’t that interesting. In other words, retailers have
According to the Digital Screenmedia Association’s report, 2011
Self-service Future Trends, more than 75 percent of respondents said that
self-service is important, very important or critical to their business plans,
while a little more than six percent said self-service was not important at
all. Although those numbers look favorable for kiosks, they actually demonstrate
a decline in self-service programs compared to a similar survey published in
2007, when more than 85 percent said self-service initiatives were important,
very important or critical, and less than four percent said it was not important.
do these declines mean kiosks are on their deathbeds?
"I would lay a wager that time will prove that to be an incorrect prediction," said
Don Lineburg, vice president of business and operations at Phoenix Kiosk. "Sages
and gurus have had a good history of being wrong guessing how technology would
impact various parts of our life. Much in the same way that email did not eliminate
paper, and, for example, the independent insurance agent and realtor have not
been made extinct by online services, kiosks will always have a place to bring
the benefits of technology to a public venue."
Francie Mendelsohn, president
of Summit Research Associates, expects self-service companies to combine the
"You need to be realistic and look five years out," she said in
the DSA report. "It’s going to be a very different landscape. They need
to have applications that make sense. Just to say, ‘We offer mobile…’ Well,
what’s that going to do for me? What mobile app can I use? So if you can leverage
what you’ve already done on the kiosk and be able to use it on a mobile device,
that would be great."
For example, Ms. Mendelsohn said consumers would
probably like to rent a Redbox DVD via phones and then pick them up at kiosks.
"I think there are a ton of possible applications that are currently
on kiosks," Ms. Mendelsohn said. "Not all of them can be ported,
because some of them don’t make sense, but I think that would be a good
way to go with the flow."
- Kiosk vs. Mobile: Industry insiders weigh in – Retail
- Opinion: 2010 was "the year the kiosk died" – Retail Customer
Discussion Question: How will the increased use of mobile technologies affect retail kiosks?