Customer kiosk stations with Internet access have become increasing popular in retail stores recently, even though they have been around since the beginning of online retail stores. The Internet has made shopping and customizing a simpler process, especially for such markets as home improvement, sports and outdoors equipment, and multimedia. For most businesses, Internet kiosks provide a quick solution to out of stock items or custom fitting, however, some stores are taking these basic Internet capabilities to a new height by working with technology firms to create specialized ordering systems for their particular products.
Lowe's and Home Depot are major flagships in the development of Internet Kiosk stations. They have contracted with EdgeNet to generate software that allows customers to design windows, countertops and entire rooms online. There are a number of room templates for customers to choose from, and by following simple instructions and considering lists of options, the customer can pick out doors, cabinets, flooring, or any desired facet of home improvement. Within minutes the customer can create a fully customized interior for any room of their house, but the best part is yet to come. To have all of the necessary materials to create this fully designed room, all they must do is click the “buy" button, and the materials will be shipped to their doorstep. These companies will even send workers to install the materials for added costs. In essence, these Internet programs create a point and click method for customers to completely skip a trip to the store, an architect, and a contractor. Who would not want to skip all of that hassle and added expenditure and be able to visualize their own design?
Of course, this Internet helper does not only provide service to customers but brings in great sales numbers by luring customers to spend up to 30% more per order. The program creates packages and add-ons that cause customers to load up a little more than they were first intending. This is an effect that is widely seen in the Internet sales business; customers tend to spend more money online than in person. Something about physical reality makes customers more hesitant to spend. When shoppers go online, they are dealing with pictures and credit card numbers that allow them to focus on the products, and less on the cost. Because of this, companies such as Nike, Timberland, Starbucks, and Levi Stauss are all pushing Internet Kiosk installation to give customers the option of self-service. Because there is no sales associate physically present, customers feel as though they are completely in control of their shopping experience on an Internet Kiosk. Retailers and advertisers know that this is not true, as the ads and formats of such kiosks bait the customers more effectively as television advertisement, and so the internet kiosk is a great solution for both parties.
Internet Kiosks will be a standard in every retail environment in the future. It is becoming a self-service world. Shoppers like to skip the step of human interaction and get exactly the things they need, quickly, and Internet kiosks are the solution.
About the Author: Ron Maier is the Vice President of S & L Store Fixtures, a leading online provider of store fixtures and retail store displays . For more information, please visit http://www.slstoredisplays.com .