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Self-ordering kiosks

Posted 01 July Sarah Abraham

It’s now commonplace to go into a fast-food restaurant and expect to be greeted by kiosks rather than a member of staff to take your order over the counter. So why are self-ordering kiosks being introduced in fast food outlets all over the country? Well, it’s simple, to put the ‘fast’ into fast-food and give us the customer a better-quality experience. Although some people are sceptical that technology is replacing jobs. The kiosk allows staff to focus on other areas of customer service.

More time can be spent on the quality check, cleanliness of the store and overall customer satisfaction. Staff can be out on the floor assisting customers in other ways than just taking their order. McDonald’s have used the kiosk to introduce table service, a never seen before feature in the fast food outlet but, it works! Reducing the number of people having to stand and wait for their food. Customers can find a seat, and this only adds to creating a comfortable and easy experience.

Kiosks are increasing the number of orders able to be processed within a time frame. Generating 15-20% more sales than traditional counter transaction (www.retailcustomerexperience.com, 2019 ). The options are displayed using mouth-watering imagery, an upgrade to a large meal or an add on of an extra side is a lot more tempting. There’s no stigma attached to the ordering process, it’s quick to select what you want, pay and receive your food. This is increasing not only the number of sales but also the size of the sales themselves.

We’re beginning to now see retail following in the footsteps of fast-food chains, integrating kiosks into the in-store experience. To encourage customers in store for improved ease of purchasing.

An example of the retail environment utilising kiosk technology is Nike’s digital retail experience, merging the online and offline shopping experience. Having various features instore to capture and intrigue the audience’s attention, encouraging them to make a purchase. Features included ‘The shoe terminal’ an interactive surface that enables customers to find out more about a trainer. It has real-time technology to tell the customer what sizes are available instore or online. It means that the customer can receive information about a trainer they’re interested in. They can compare it to other styles and make that choice of purchase rather than having to wait for an employee and enquiring about this information.

Another feature they have is a digital retail kiosk. Football fans can browse, customise and order Nike team products. Again, this feature has real-time stock availability so the customer can make a purchase receive a ticket and go and collect their item. This improves the efficiency of stock availability in store. Helping the store know what stock is low but also the customers can purchase online using the kiosk. If the item isn’t available, a sale opportunity isn’t missed.

A personal favourite of mine, the introduction of self-service checkout in Zara stores. Being a savvy Zara shopper, I can safely say I’ve easily spent hours waiting in the dreaded queue. With the online experience sophisticated, seamless and made far too easy for me part with my money than I’d hope, it was time for the in-store experience to coincide this. The self-service checkout requires no individual scanning of items. Just stand in front of the checkout and the items appear on the screen. Then simply remove the security tags, pay using contactless or chip & PIN, bag your items and off you go, simple! The real bonus is every time I’ve used these machines I haven’t had to queue. There’s never been the experience of ‘please wait for assistance’ that appears most visits to supermarket self-checkouts. It makes the shopping experience more seamless and gives customers a reason to go in store instead of online to avoid queues, which most retailers are failing to understand.

With kiosks and self-checkouts appearing more commonly in our hospitality and retail environments, it begs the question of what the next advancement for quick and easy payments is.

The Amazon Go store gives us insight as to how the future of shopping is transforming. Currently only operating a small number of stores in the US, the concept to the naked eye looks almost like polite theft. Walking into the store, picking up items placing them in your bag and walking out. However, no alarms sound and there’s no angry security guard chasing you down the street. Instead, clever use of technology gives customers hassle-free shopping experience. By simply opening the Amazon Go app, scanning your phone at the entrance barrier, picking out items you want and leaving the store. When walking back through the barrier the items you have in your bag will be detected and charged to your account. This digitalised shopping experience means no queues and instant receipt notifications once you’ve left the store.

Another example of cashier-less is Carrefour’s ‘Flash’ concept store. Read about it in our facial recognition in retail blog. At Celestra we want our clients to always be ahead of the curve when it comes to implementing technology into their customer experience. Read all about what we did for the KFC Kiosk Rollout.

Get in touch today to see how Celestra can transform your customer experience, email sales@celestra.co.uk or call 01908 889 500

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