Need for an Interactive Information Kiosk at Malls

Sep 8 13:39 2010 Suryanarayan Poddar Print This Article

An Interactive kiosk is an electronic communications tool that enables user to quickly access information and serve them. The information kiosk is a tool that functions like a self help or self service system to answer customer queries and needs.

What are the needs/ requirements and concerns of mall users / visitors / shoppers?

The interactive kiosk should engage,Guest Posting attract, inform and serve customers, shoppers and visitors to provide a competitive business edge that results in improved self service, increased sales and higher customer satisfaction. The requirements and needs of a Shopper, Visitor and Customer are diverse and it is a tedious process to attend to their queries at an individual level. This is where an interactive kiosk can bridge the gap and ensure that visitors and customers can avail the best services and information. The interactive information kiosk can be designed to function in various scenarios such as -


  • Multi-lingual communication
    • I don’t speak English and the regional language
  • Path-Finder/Store Locator
    • How to go to Store X?
    • Where is the restroom?
    • Where is the lounge?
    • How to get to the cinema theatre?
    • What brands are available and where are they located?
    • What restaurants are here and where are they located?
  • Feedback / Survey
    • I want to give feedback
    • I want to compliment the mall staff
    • I want to give them few suggestions
    • I want to complain

 

  • Need for Information
    • I need information on which movie is being shown in which screen, timings of shows and availability of tickets
    • I want information on city, hotels, restaurants, hotspots and other tourist spots
    • I want price listing and product catalogues of company X
    • I want to check offers running at stores and shops across the mall
    • I wish to see live news
    • I want specific information such as time in X country, currency and exchange rates, travelers guide etc
  • Advertise
    • I wish to view offers and discounts running at a store
    • I want to view an interactive advertisement here
What are the needs/ requirements and concerns of a mall administrator / owner?

The malls administrators and owners constantly keep working towards improving and providing the best service to their customers. An information kiosk can be utilized strategically to not only dispense information and answer queries, but also act as an interface to study customer behavior patterns and obtain information regarding the same. A kiosk also provides advertising opportunities and can double as a digital signage display. Thus, the information kiosk can not only be a source to dispense information but to garner information regarding customer behaviors and revenue sources.

How does an Interactive/Information kiosk help mall users / Visitors / shoppers?

Having considered the various situations and scenarios that a kiosk can attend to, the solutions which can be provided by the Mall Administration are summarized below:

  • An interactive kiosk which is capable of multilingual support ensures that foreign nationals and outsiders have no trouble in accessing the required information
  • Way finding – interactive and animated path from source to destination or static maps for an overview of the facility helps visitors to find their way about.
  • Information Dispensing:

o        Relevant to Facility:

Provides all relevant information regarding the facility and the mall. The information may vary from the discounts and offers at different shops, restaurants, movies, commodities etc. There can be a section to address the catalogues and menus of the various shops and retail chains. There can be live flash to display the latest news from around the globe. The administrators can provide information regarding the transportation facilities available at the mall. The kiosk can even be utilized to dispense information about the company profile and factsheets.

o        General city information:

The kiosk can function as a general information kiosk that helps tourists and outsiders to answer a variety of questions such as              

      • Main tourist attractions, museums, galleries, city park, important buildings, etc
      • Data about cultural and natural heritage
      • Information about the tourist agency, hotels and accommodation
      • Information about restaurants, cafe bars, clubs
      • Calendar of cultural events in the city
      • Information about public transport
      • Information about emergency services, hospital, police, fire, etc.
      • Banks and money exchange
  • Feedback system
    • For compliments, complaints, suggestions and general feedback
    • Capable of conducting Surveys to understand the customers/visitors/buyers with an inbuilt reporting system.

  • Point of sale
The kiosk can be a source of revenue by functioning as a strategically placed point of sale device which
    • Allows shop owners, brands, manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and suppliers to target customers and digitally provide them information of the complete product range.
    • Self checkout empowers retailers to re-assign counter staff to more productive sales and customer service roles.
    • Remotely locating interactive kiosks and digital signage system enables retailers to target customers more effectively by placing virtual stores across an unlimited geographical footprint.
    • Improves customers’ in-store experience and loyalty
    • The ticket vending kiosks for a multiplex/cinema theater can be kept on any floor for customers to see what is running and to pick up and buy tickets.
  • Advertisement display system
    • A Single screen or dual screen kiosk can be used for displaying advertisements.
    • The kiosk can showcase products under relevant categories and subcategories as static information. For example the advertisers can opt to view content under “Offers” or “New Arrivals” categories or subcategories.
    • Advertisements can be displayed as screen savers.
I would like to add that the information kiosk is going to change the face of help desks and support staff at the malls. It provides the next step towards virtual assistance and floor staff. The interactive information kiosk has a lot of potential in the present time as people are becoming more inclined towards technology and want information and service at their finger tips without waiting in long queues. The application of an interactive information kiosk solution is umpteen. A few areas where the interactive information kiosk has been implemented successfully are: Airports, Museums, Trade Shows, Events, Exhibitions, Educational Institutions, Universities, Health care, Hospitals, Hospitality Industry, Hotels, Railway Stations, Bus Stations, Airports, Property Management, Real Estate, Banks, etc to name a few amongst the customer service sectors.

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About Article Author

Suryanarayan Poddar
Suryanarayan Poddar

Suryanarayan Poddar is Manager – Business Development at Digital Horizons, is inclined and passionate about improving the experience through interactive IT solutions and services at large facilities. He strongly believes that an interactive information kiosk solution will change the way large facilities function and provide help to users, visitors, shoppers, tourists and help generate additional revenue. Digital Horizons strives to be the market leader in providing retail pos software and pos systems for the Retail industry.

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