What is Kiosk?
In the technical world, a kiosk (pronounced as KEE-ahsk ) is a small structure including a computer and a display screen that displays information for people passing by. Eg A wayfinding directory kiosk that guides users to their desired destination in an office building or in a shopping mall.
More sophisticated kiosks are more interactive and include touch screens, sound, and motion video like the ones used as a point of sale in retail shops.
Watsons, Malaysia is going for Kiosk. They have launched one in their KLCC branch for a trial run! And Tesco has recently rolled out self-checkout machines in their iOi City Mall outlet in Putrajaya.
History Of Kiosk
As per Wiki Pedia, “The first self-service, a interactive kiosk was developed in 1977 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign by a pre-med student, Murray Lappe. Lappe’s kiosk called The Plato Hotline allowed students and visitors to find movies, maps, directories, bus schedules, extracurricular activities and courses.”
Today’s kiosks bring together the classic vending machine with high-tech communications and complex robotic and mechanical internals.
Electronic kiosks have become a larger part of the retail business. This shows that THE DEMAND FOR RETAIL SELF-SERVICE KIOSKS IS ON THE RISE!
It’s the future.
The Screenagers who are the “Z” generation, the next millennial who no longer relies on the primary screen that my generation grew up with. – The Television.
No longer they are dependent on programme times and wait for favorite programs. This generation is all about on-demand. It’s a NOW generation.
Compare the phones we used when we were young to that of today. Ours did not even store numbers. But the phones of today can record video, connect you to the entire world.
We’re seeing the same transformation with kiosks. What once were clunky, single-function machines are now flexible, omnichannel experiences.
Self-service purchasing is changing the way we shop. Consumers love the convenience and efficiency, and businesses love the ROI(Return of Investment) and faster queue turns.
STILL WE CAN NOT SAY Self-service kiosks are a win-win in Malaysia yet.
Pros of Kiosk
The biggest advantage is the speed with which customers can checkout and pay for their purchases. This is especially helpful during peak sales times. Kiosks reduce the length of checkout lines and wait time.
Staffing cost reduction
Self-checkout lanes were considered obviously good financial investments. Self-checkout lanes may eventually substitute express lanes (low-volume shoppers) leaving the human checkers more available for people with lots of items.As a result, owners can save significantly on the conventional overhead costs incurred with employees.
Kiosks have the ability to collect important market data that give businesses insight into opportunities to enhance their business strategy. This helps in forecasting future sales projections and staffing needs.
The maintenance required for these digital kiosks is relatively minimal. In addition, the best digital kiosk manufacturers offer extended warranties to ensure that the investment in digital technologies will have a long life.
With digital kiosks, customers can browse through the product catalog on the kiosk in a more private environment and can complete their transaction without requiring human interaction.
Consumers are no longer limited to traditional business hours with the 24/7 service these digital kiosks provide.
Cons of Kiosk
Although most shoppers have embraced self-checkout, there are many disadvantages still need to be overcome.
Potential for Theft
Although most systems are equipped with some form of anti-shoplifting technology, there is often a higher likelihood of theft occurring. Because employees are unable to monitor customer transactions as closely on self-checkouts, it’s easier for customers to steal. When caught, it’s possible for customers to plead ignorance or blame it on a machine malfunction.
No human interaction
Despite the efficiency of this system, many customers prefer to have a one-on-one interaction with cashiers instead of dealing with an unsocial machine.
Ignorance/unwilling to learn
Still the X and Y generations may have a hard time or unwilling to figure out how to navigate the system.
So to feel comfortable around Kiosk, I have shared few basic things to know about Kiosk.Most Kiosks have the following basic functions:
- Touch screen monitor
- Basket stand
- Barcode scanner cum weighing scale
- Payment module
Self Checkout Procedure
The self-checkout procedure has 3 main stages
Users make payment
The shopper is guided by images on the touchscreen monitor and a recorded voice prompt through the process.Watsons, KLCC currently allows their customers to redeem their rewards points for the purchases and alternatively accepts payment using Touch N Go cards.
Self-checkout machines allow customers to assume the role of the cashier by scanning, bagging, and paying for their items on their own.
If you are heading to iOi City Mall or Watsons, KLCC this weekend, go try it out and let me know what you think!