If you only think of a kiosk as a small gazebo or pavilion used as a newsstand or low end jewelry booth then you are missing one of today’s more dynamic marketing applications- the digital kiosk. A digital kiosk is a small physical structure that displays information in an attempt to attract shoppers. Of course there are some examples that are better than others. Today we see kiosks used at trade shows and professional conferences and at retail to aid in point of sale.

Do not confuse the monitor that is left to loop a video over and over as a cutting edge example of what kiosks are doing to help marketers.  Some of those sorts of applications probably do more to alienate trade show peers and shoppers alike than they create real value.  Yes there are some presentations that simply loop through a series of pages which are effective, but the video in these examples is always very compelling. Unfortunately, many of those continuous loop presentations are not very compelling. It is usually a formula for failure when the video topics are selected based on what is of interest to the sponsor rather than the customers. However kiosks that offer interaction and exploration can be superior in their ability to engage customers. Several retailers use kiosks as registries to record wish list items. Wedding registries may be one of the most popular applications.

Two elements of digital kiosks that intrigue me are the self service aspects and the ability to present perfect information consistently. Sometimes shoppers would just rather serve themselves and do not want to engage with a sales associate. And of course there are those times when there are no sales associates available to assist a shopper. In either case, the kiosk could be valuable. Another application I like is the ability to digitally present information on a very consistent basis. Every time a sales associate makes a presentation odds are they say things a bit differently or forget to mention all of the information.  As emotional beings we just perform at different levels at different times. There are several great examples of digital presentations of jewelry education that are offered 24/7 on jewelry web sites. Every time a customer goes to the educational information is presented exactly the same way and the total presentation includes visual examples. The net result is that the presentation is superior to many face to face presentations. Customers are finding this out in droves and doing more and more of their pre-purchase research digitally. Kiosks can appeal to many of these customers if the video content is relevant.

What sort of experience have you had using kiosks and are there any applications that apply to the jewelry industry?

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