Leave Me Alone, I Can do it Myself! The Preference for Self-Service Shopping

An 8-Step Plan to a Successful Self-Service Deployment

Tech-savvy consumers expect self-service where they shop. And by implementing self-service, stores stand to increase same-store sales and reduce operating costs. According to RIS News publisher Dave Weinand in a recent joint webinar with Zebra, IBM and St. Clair Interactive, self-service is an initiative gaining noticeable momentum in retail. Sounds tempting, right? But before you rush into implementation, keep in mind that proper planning is key. Following are eight considerations to help ensure your success:

  1. Begin with a clear corporate strategy. Identify your business pain points; how do you see self-service addressing them? Talk to customers, too. Solving their pain points could turn them into advocates whose word of mouth will attract new customers.
  2. Involve all internal departments. That means not just IT, but store operations, (which has first-hand experience with many of the pain points), marketing, and an executive sponsor who sees the value of self-service.
  3. Plan upfront for an overall, multiplatform strategy that extends beyond kiosks. Even if you’re not ready yet for Web and mobile applications, these are trends you’ll need to consider at some point. Why not plan for a system with centralized content from the start?
  4. Optimize the kiosk user interface technology. Unlike a store Web site—where the user has a keyboard, a mouse and time to browse—you need to get in-store kiosk users on and off the kiosk quickly. Make sure navigation is intuitive and the interface is clean—not cluttered with too much information.
  5. Carefully consider kiosk placement in the store. Put it in a conspicuous spot so customers will use it.
  6. Develop metrics to define success, and monitor them during your pilot. You may want to hurry into a project because you’re excited about an application, but after a few months, how will you know you’re successful if you haven’t established metrics?
  7. Encourage employee participation, so associates aren’t intimidated by the technology, or fear it will replace their jobs. In fact, some stores develop kiosk “champions” who help educate fellow employees as well as customers on the technology.
  8. Select purpose-built kiosk components. Every element needs to be rugged and reliable to withstand the tough and unattended self-service environment.

Are you undergoing or have you been through kiosk deployment? What helped you deploy successfully? Anything you might have done differently?

Click here to view the webinar “Increase Same-Store Sales with Next-Gen Self Service.”


2 responses to “Leave Me Alone, I Can do it Myself! The Preference for Self-Service Shopping

  1. Nice overview. What type of ROI should someone expect with a typical Kiosk roll-out, and how do you incorporate that into your planning?

    • Zebra Technologies

      Hi Josh,

      Thanks for your question. Kiosk ROI is determined in large part by the application(s) running on the device so it would be misleading to just throw out some random number for all kiosk deployments. With that said, our experience has shown that the most successful kiosk deployments typically offer multiple applications and sources of revenue.

      As an example, in grocery it is common to have a kiosk offering loyalty coupons, price checking, recipes, deli ordering and wine pairing all on the same device. This increases the utilization of the kiosk, compounds the ROI and encourages the customer to use the other applications. Our research shows that deli ordering thru a kiosk for instance offers a 6-8% increase in incremental sales while wine pairing offers a 7-11% increase. Those two applications together offer a compelling argument for a grocer to move to self service.

      Another common practice to help increase the ROI of a kiosk is to sell advertising on the device. When a kiosk is not in use, the touch screen can be utilized as digital signage, with advertising being paid for by vendors. This strategy has been so successful that newer kiosk designs often incorporate a second, larger monitor above the touchscreen solely for the purpose of digital signage.

      I hope that I have addressed your questions. Please feel free to contact me with any additional questions you may have.

      Bill Phelps
      Business Development Manager
      Zebra Technologies

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