Customers expect brands to step into the digital era, whether they search for a retailer’s eCommerce website or check for online scheduling for their next hair appointment. Even within a store, more audiences want businesses to go digital.
They want free Wi-Fi, text notifications, and touchscreen kiosks right at their fingertips.
Some businesses embrace online technology, while others are still trying to catch up. If you’re trying to step into the digital era and lure customers with the latest technological trends, then a touchscreen kiosk might be right for your brand.
Here is how you can use touchscreen kiosks to bring your brick-and-mortar business into the digital realm.
What Are Touchscreen Kiosks?
Touchscreen kiosks are interactive displays that engage your customers and offer customer service, product purchasing, or information sharing. They come in the form of stand-alone columns, digital signage, or devices like iPads that have specific software related to your brand.
Touchscreen kiosks are found in a variety of industries and business sizes. More airports are switching to touchscreen kiosks for the check-in process. Travelers provide information about their flight plans and luggage, and then receive a boarding pass.
Customers still interact with airline employees when they drop off their bags, but the process moves faster because of the digital technology.
On a small scale, many doctors and dentists have adopted touchscreen kiosks for patient check-in. Some offices ask patients to type their names, while others can recognize patients through fingerprint scanning technology. If the patient needs to update their insurance, the office staff receive a notification when the patient checks in so they can provide the right paperwork.
Touchscreen kiosks essentially provide ways for customers to communicate with your brand or place orders when they come in. The process is faster, more efficient, and more accurate for your staff, which means your customers will have more positive experiences when they are at your location.
Why Do Customers Like Touchscreen Kiosks?
Some customers will always prefer talking to employees, and human customer service representatives will always be essential for answering questions, but the majority of your customers will likely embrace your touchscreen kiosks and prefer them to waiting in line to speak with a representative.
The Washington Post recently explored why this technology is so popular for both customers and business owners:
- Speed: Customers typically spend 60 seconds interacting with touchscreen kiosks, a number that can drop to 20 seconds for repeat users and customer loyalty program members.
- Visual Cues: Customers don’t have to read or speak to order. They often move through the system by clicking on a variety of images. This is why the process is faster and mentally easier for everyone involved.
- Upsells: Brands can convince customers to add items to their carts before they check out. For example, seeing a cookie or a shiny car on screen can motivate customers to add a dessert or car wash to their carts.
- Flexibility: Customers can customize their options in ways they might not feel comfortable when ordering verbally. They can also discover new options they were previously unfamiliar with.
- Accuracy: There is no mishearing with online ordering. Customers can review their orders to make sure everything is accurate.
The quick-service restaurant industry offers easy examples for all of these benefits, but they can be applied to almost any business or field. Banks can move clients through a queue and understand what they need faster, while auto repair teams can upsell customers on oil changes when they drop off their cars for servicing.
How Can Businesses Benefit from Touchscreen Technology?
Brands can also benefit from this form of technology for many of the same reasons customers do.
More accurate orders mean fewer products are wasted and fewer unhappy customers who don’t get what they want. This benefits companies financially by reducing lost product and increasing the percent of customers who are likely to return.
Furthermore, product upsells can increase the average ticket per customer. If you can increase your average ticket by just a few dollars, you can increase your sales dramatically within a few months.
Employees are also likely to benefit from touchscreen technology. Their orders will be clear and neatly organized, so they can prioritize their work and find all of the information they need within a few seconds.
In the case of auto shops or doctors offices, where customers are using touchscreen kiosks to check in, staff can focus on more pressing work, making office operations smoother and more organized.
Touchscreen Case Study: Panera Bread
One great example of touchscreen kiosks having significant impacts on businesses is the rollout of Panera’s in-store digital ordering.
Panera executive Ron Shaich said a few years ago that wait-times at an average franchise location were eight minutes long, customers had to wait in a “mosh pit” of people waiting to order, and orders were wrong about 10% of the time. Today, a quarter of all Panera orders come from online sources -- through the app of through in-story kiosks -- and customers wait an average of one minute before they step up to the counter.
Interestingly, this modern technology isn’t necessarily a job stealer. The ease of flow of customers means Panera employees can serve more people in a shorter time and need to hire more food prep employees. They also have people working to maintain the kiosks and keeping the ordering area clean and moving.
Finally, Panera rolled out delivery options in 2017 and plans to hire 10,000 delivery drivers this year on top of the 4,000 it has now.
Business is booming because the touchscreen kiosks and digital ordering solved the biggest problems customers faced with the company.
Learn How Touchscreen Kiosks Can Help Your Business
Investments in touchscreen technology are not difficult or expensive to set up when you work with a partner who can make the implementation process fast and easy. If you’re considering adding touchscreen hardware to your business, talk to an experienced provider who can get your screens up-and-running and making money right away.
To see how Spectrio can help bring this technology to your business, contact us today to talk to one of our digital signage experts.