As technology has continued to boom in the retail sphere, we know that having digital touchpoints in your store can make or break a final purchase. Customers are already using their mobile devices in-store as part of their consideration process, so providing the opportunity and controlling their digital actions in store can prove to pay dividends for you. Many furniture and clothing stores have turned to self-service kiosks or tablets to provide this digital experience and help customers with the purchasing process.
Both options allow you to mitigate for physical space scarcity – you can merchandise more options through an in-store kiosk or tablet than you can on the floor space. When customers are able to see more options and more combinations, they’ll be more likely to find what they’re looking for and have the confidence to make the final purchase.
While both solutions get customers engaged and invested while they browse, the right option depends on what you’re looking for.
Kiosks made a major splash when first introduced, even making headlines within the industry for how well they drove sales. Kohl’s is a prime example of a store that began using this technology nearly a decade ago. The in-store kiosks allows customers to find styles, colors, and more that you may not be able to display in store. They treat the process just as they would online, selecting and paying for everything right from the kiosk.
Use this option when:
You want to customers to serve themselves
Perhaps the cost of sales associates is too high at the moment. You know you need to provide your customers with the help and expertise of a sales associate. But you can’t provide enough associates on the floor at all times. This is when kiosks come into play.
Kiosks are permanent fixtures that customers can always interact with and get easy, quick questions answered. It takes the pressure off of the sales associates in-store. And the customer still ends up informed about the products they want to buy.
When you want to fill in-store space
Because of the size and breadth of kiosks, they can easily be used as store fixtures and can be styled up to become decorational pieces. Plus, nothing looks better than a high-tech-equipped store! Kiosks generally give off a great air of respectability and authority that can’t be replicated on a tablet.
Tablets have also proven to be quite the effective sales tool. In today’s technology world, more and more people intuitively understand tablets and will enjoy the experience of using in-store technology.
Tablets can be either single-purpose or simply an app downloaded onto standard tablets. Plenty of free showcase software already exists in app stores, but you could also task an in-house engineer with creating your own branded app.
Use this option when:
You have the manpower to serve customers
The benefits of in-store tablets are optimized when used by sales associates to assist customers. These tablets put a digitized, searchable, and sortable catalog into the hands of the associate. With it, they are able to work with customers to help them find exactly what they’re looking for.
If you have enough sales associates in store that are able to work one-on-one with customers, your customers will greatly enjoy the experience of being assisted by a sales associate who has even more knowledge.
You don’t have the room or funds for large, permanent fixtures
Tablets are very flexible. You can have as many or as few as you need. They are very portable and allow for sales associates to walk customers throughout the store. It would also allow the sales associate to push information straight to check-out immediately once the customer is ready to buy.
Both kiosks and tablets are acceptable options, depending on your goals. For stores that plan to begin sales as associates are assisting customers or want customers to view multiple options before purchasing, tablets reign supreme. However, kiosks are a change of pace and have a certain undeniable charm in the specific stores that want them.
With either option, your customers will enjoy your commitment to their customer experience as you provide them the technology to assist their decisions.