The humble kiosk is an often neglected consumer sales and marketing channel, which can complement a call centre or online strategy with a face-to-face offering. In person sales is the purest and oldest form of sales, and while costs are often higher than other channels, so are conversion rates higher, and customer intimacy is easier to achieve. Upsell and cross sell opportunities can also be maximised in this setting.
Kiosks can be used to sign up customers, set appointments, generate leads and distribute product samples. Kiosks are particularly relevant when launching or testing new products or services, and getting an instant pulse on consumer reaction. They can be easily disabled or moved to another location at little cost or risk. This makes it easy for a business to try things for a month, tweak the offering the next month, and close shop if it doesn’t work – or expand if it does! Temporary kiosks also suit seasonal businesses, for example a chocolate business might benefit from additional coverage with kiosks during Valentine’s day and Easter periods.
While shopping centres are the most popular location for kiosks, sporting or community events and entertainment venues are also options to consider, and typically much cheaper than malls.
Kiosks offer the additional benefit of advertising – the branding on your kiosk is seen by thousands of passers-by in a retail environment. And kiosks may capture customers who simply prefer dealing with a human being rather than a website – yes, those people still exist!
In addition to a face-to-face salesperson, kiosks themselves can be multichannel environments, which connect to a call centre (for example, to verify a sale), or allow customers to browse online content via a tablet or laptop – including watch a demo video, view a document or product specifications, complete forms, surveys, transactions and process payments, and accept terms and conditions for contracts.
What does a retail kiosk cost?
Kiosks come in varying shapes and sizes but a small pop-up can cost as little as $1500 to design with your logo, and can be self-assembled. Most kiosks cost thousands, large kiosks tens of thousands. Used kiosks are sold on marketplaces like eBay and Gumtree.
It costs in the range of $1500-$2500 a week to casually lease space for a kiosk in a tier 1 shopping centre in major metros such as Sydney and Melbourne. (Expect to pay a premium in December.) In regional centres, the cost is typically less than half this.
What makes a kiosk program successful?
Alongside product, pricing and presentation, much of the success of a kiosk program lies in the effective recruitment, training and motivation of the kiosk staff. Many companies choose to outsource the management of the kiosk program to experts in this channel.