In the past, a lot of retail stores have tried using kiosks without much success. In my opinion, kiosks in retail spaces have never really worked all that well as they tended to be clunky, not very user-friendly with terrible interfaces, ancient graphics and confusing menus. Additionally, developing an in-store kiosk has typically been outside the reach of most specialty retailers due to the cost. Luckily this is no longer true. You can quickly and easily create a kiosk using an Apple iPad.
Why Do I Need a Kiosk?
Finding uses for a kiosk for your store is easy. Our customers are finding all kinds of uses for them.
Most retailers struggle to grab email addresses from consumers in their store. How about a simple iPad kiosk near the register where the consumer can enter it themselves? What about near your dressing rooms?
Asking customers to subscribe to your mailing list is not the only use of an in-store kiosk. What about showing off your unique style and point of view by letting your customers see your latest Instagram pictures? While you’re at it, encourage them to send in their own pictures. How about making a quick video describing the season’s hottest trends? Have an active blog? Show it off.
What’s nice is you don’t need much to get started. Basically, all you need is:
All of the kiosks we’ve developed for our customers have been simple pages on their website. These pages can be easily edited by the store and of course are easy to display on the iPad because they are simply a web page. Of course you will need to have Wi-Fi in your store so the iPad can connect wirelessly.
You don’t need to break the bank and buy new iPads for your in-store kiosks. Instead, comb the internet or eBay for used iPads, you’ll save hundreds of dollars! You’ll only be displaying a web page on these iPads so an iPad 2 or even an iPad 1 will suffice. Also, go ahead and get the wireless-only model with the smallest hard drive possible – anything bigger or better will simply go to waste.
I highly recommend you buy software to lock the consumer down to one or more pages in your website. While I try to think the best of people, I would hate to see someone display content that would be offensive to your customers. Go to Apple App Store and go do a search for kiosk. The software we have successfully used with some of our clients is PadLock by HotMagna Pty Ltd. Other great apps include Kiosk Pro Lite, Kiosk Pro Plus and xStand. One of our customers uses the Kiosk Pro Lite and says that it shows no signs of being free (no ads or app branding).
Lastly, you will want to make sure your iPad is securely locked down so it doesn’t walk away. Luckily there are lots of vendors who sell hardware to make sure your iPad stays put. Doing a simply search on the internet will reveal more products than you can imagine and ones sure to work well within your store. Check out this iPad kiosk stand or these ones by [iPad] enclosures as seen in the featured image above and shown here to the right.
I believe you will find using an iPad as an in-store kiosk is a low cost investment that returns big dividends. However, I have to warn you because you may become quickly hooked and soon find yourself with multiple iPad kiosks in all your stores.