Endless-Aisle Kiosks. Endless Opportunities?

The concept of “endless aisle” is not new. Retailers have been using e-commerce Web sites to expand product availability for years, and continue to do so. However, the use of kiosks to bring the online experience into the store—providing in-store access to online inventory or inventory stored at another location—is gaining momentum.

Borders offers an early, proven example of using endless-aisle in-store kiosks to expand inventory choice beyond the limited space of a brick-and-mortar store. In 2000, the store instituted itsBorder's Title Sleuth Kiosk

Title Sleuth” kiosks, enabling customers not only to find the location of one of the hundreds of thousands titles contained within the store, but to search an online database of millions of books, movies and CDs for later delivery.

Kohl’s provides a brand-spanking-new example of kiosks serving in an endless aisle application. Using in-store kiosks that Kohl’s plans to extend chain-wide this year, customers can easily order something that’s out of stock in a particular store, or select from a much wider array of inventory housed outside the store, and have it shipped to them.

Of course, endless aisle shopping is not there just for customer convenience—although customer satisfaction and loyalty are key benefits. The bottom line is that endless aisle kiosks expand not just available inventory, but store revenue as well.

For instance, when a major retailer of outdoor equipment installed endless aisle kiosks in each of its stores, it found that the stores annually generated incremental revenue equaling that from an average 25,000-square-foot store. Learn about this and other innovative self-service applications retailers are using to increase same-store sales in this on-demand webinar.

Do you foresee potential endless-aisle kiosks in your store? What area of the store would you use them?

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