IHL Group released the 2012 North American Self-Service Kiosk Study on August 21, indicating that consumers spent just under $777 billion using self-service kiosks in 2011, an 8.6% increase from the previous year.
Although total kiosk revenue is expected to reach more than $1 trillion by 2015, previous estimates predicted hitting the $1 trillion mark by 2013 or 2014. This slowdown is attributed to “the continued maturation of the Self-Checkout installed base, as well as the cannibalization of sales due to retailers adopting mobile ordering applications,” according to the report.
The report highlights six types of kiosks: Check-In; Food Ordering; Self-Checkout Systems; Postal; Ticketing; and Other Retail. The “Other” category, accounting for 55% of all kiosk shipments, includes a wide variety of transactional kiosks in retail and hospitality settings, such as DVD rentals. Self-Checkout Systems are the second-largest segment, at 23% of the total.
Additionally, approximately 25% of sales by all U.S. supermarkets ($584.4 billion) were handled by self-checkout systems in 2011, which corresponds to 5.4 million transactions, according to the Food Marketing Institute (FMI).
On-Site Investigation Of Kiosk Usage
Although self-service kiosks have proven to be a helpful tool for the retail industry by providing customers with easy access to necessary information, IHL recommends retailers “do a little MBWA” — management by walking around. “[MBWA] involves stepping away from the email, turning off the cell phone, and leaving the office to go and watch how consumers are using, or not using, the self-service technology that they and their competitors have delivered to the industry,” according to the report. “It also involves copious note-taking, as well as conversations with clients’ customers [to discover] what they’re finding.”
Questions retail managers should consider asking client customers include:
– Did the customer have to implement any changes in operating procedures since the installation of the vendor’s “plug-and-play” kiosk?
– How well do consumers do as they navigate between a self-checkout system’s main touchscreen display and the payment device?
Some current trends and challenges in kiosk systems, addressed in the IHL report, include:
- Shoppers’ interest in self-service options;
- The expanding impact of mobile interaction among consumers;
- Less encouraging stories about self-checkout;
- The belief that DVD rental and airline check-in kiosks will cease to exist; and
- Virtual stores coming to the fore-front.
Click here to download a copy of the 2012 North American Self-Service Kiosk Study.