As prospects for certain classes of kiosks dim, the future of automated retail has never looked brighter.
A fork in the road for traditional kiosks
Traditional electronic kiosks have gone the way of ubiquity or obsolescence.
Some kiosks drew too much traffic, requiring busy individuals to wait in line. Financial services solved this problem by scaling up–there are now nearly 500K ATMs in the US. Airlines solved this problem by bulking up–there are now commonly dozens of ticket dispensers in airport check-in lines.
Other kiosks drew little traffic, yielding added space and maintenance costs. As a result, kiosks providing entertainment, health and beauty information have diminished in mass merchandise retailers like Walmart and Target.
Today, retailers and suppliers are operating self-service checkouts as well as kiosks and vending units to get an ever expanding list of products into the hands of consumers in a wide variety of locations.
“Consumers are more accepting of these automated technologies because they just want the stuff at a good price and really do not care if they get it from a piece of technology or a person,” Richard Feinberg, a retail analyst, told The Indianapolis Star.
There are a few factors that make it worth the while of service providers to add their categories to kiosks. These characteristics include: Continue reading