Cashierless stores and AI will take kiosks to another level
As the technology continues to evolve, the kiosk is becoming more important for retail sales, and it can offer several benefits for retailers.
According to "Embracing the Self-Service Economy," a report from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, the cost of checking in a passenger at the airport drops from $3 to 14 cents when moving from a staffed desk to an automated check-in station. Equipping a retail space with self-service kiosks asks customers to do some of the “work” on their own. As a result, a retailer could experience similar benefits, requiring fewer people on the floor and thereby reducing overhead costs.
Also, AI technology can improve the speed of service. Consider autonomous grocery stores, where shoppers can use an app to pay for purchases while walking out the door — that, or a kiosk for cash, credit, or debit. Both options can improve service efficiency at checkout.
Retailers can also match labor with shopper needs based on the time of year. This could include lanes configured for dual payment options, enabling retailers to adapt to changing queue requirements.
If the AI were to automatically trigger managers based on real-time queue analysis, you could better respond by opening up more lanes or bringing additional people to the floor to help customers at kiosk stations.
Kiosks aren’t going anywhere. Actually, they’re growing in popularity. The question is whether merchants will adopt the technology before it’s no longer a differentiator in the retail space. Today’s consumers want the option and will reward brands that have already incorporated the technology into the overall user experience.