Retailers Boost Sales with Kiosks

The latest addition to big box retailers and brick-and-mortar stores is the incorporation of kiosk information systems. These systems allow customers to purchase products that may be out of stock in stores, even offering free home shipping. Designed to help boost sales, stores are trying to appeal to in-store and online sales.

For example, Kohl’s is implementing traditional retail kiosks and the benefits have been tremendous. Kohl’s reports a substantial increase in their e-commerce businesses, with their online sales growing faster than traditional in-store purchases. In fact, several retail stores report increases in sales ranging from 30- to 50-percent.

As the fastest growing retail area, Internet businesses that have a small base traditionally yield higher percentage gains. Additionally, in today’s world, shoppers are most comfortable shopping for products online than in retail establishments.

This means that retailers have the ability to try out products online and get feedback from customers before making the investment of carrying items in retail locations. This gives retailers an ideal test market. In fact, some retailers are even focusing on carrying special lines online only, not even carrying some products in their retail stores.

Many retailers are actively promoting online websites in their retail stores, including offering sales reminders, social networking efforts and printed materials. These systems also allow customers to purchase out-of-stock merchandise, allowing retail establishments to carry less merchandise in stores.

Many retailers add interactive videos that show products, including dimensions, available color options and various specialty sizes. This allows consumers to make easier purchasing decisions, especially for out-of-stock items.

A prime example of retailers successfully incorporating custom tablets into a retail store is Zappos. Working with Armor Active, Zappos opened a retail location in Las Vegas. They incorporated five unique iPad kiosks, which has helped this retail establishment bridge the gap between online shopping and a retail location.

Armor Active also worked with Unknwn, a South Florida clothing store, and facilitated including iPad kiosks that allowed customers to view interactive descriptions of products. Foot Locker also uses wall-mounted kiosks to highlight shoes, including inventory checks, ordering information and the ability to search by size. This allows customers to purchase products based on availability in other nearby locations. Foot Locker’s ultimate goal is to have four to five iPad kiosk in each of their 3,000 locations.

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