In 1977, the first self-service, interactive kiosk was developed at the University of Illinois. Since then till today, kiosk technology has come a long way in transforming the business world along with the associated software and technological advancements. They fit into multiple business use cases like product selling, cross-selling and upselling, display of useful information for visitors and customers, running promotional activities, cashless payment procedures and so on. Self-service and interactive kiosks have gained popularity amongst customers for offering easy and delightful experience, faster check-out time and clear visibility of information.
Lately, tablet kiosks have come to the forefront and are gradually replacing the traditional kiosk machines as more and more sectors are preferring to use them over the later.
Why are tablets the future of kiosks?
Traditional kiosks surely serve the purposes that they are installed for, but they are somewhat bulky; whereas tablet kiosks coming in smaller sizes and varied shapes can prove to be a more versatile alternative. A tablet kiosk can be fitted into an enclosure to be used for multiple functions and can be connected with devices such as printers, scanners and cash acceptors. This surely marks a new chapter for POS systems and self-service/interactive kiosks.
Be it self-service kiosks at supermarkets, check-out kiosks for cash payments at retail shops or a customer-facing kiosk used for inventory-search, kiosk tablets are rapidly evolving to meet the ever-growing customer demands. They exist in different forms like simple wall-mounted iPads, floor-standing kiosk tablets with contactless readers, ticket printers and cash acceptors. Kiosk tablets vary in designs aligning with the range of use cases and business requirements.
Benefits of Tablet Kiosks
When a kiosk software is installed into the tablets, it turns these into kiosk mode that are used to meet specific business purposes. There is a gamut of reasons, which drive companies to adopt tablets as kiosks over traditional kiosks.
The first and the commonest of reasons is the price difference. Ranging between $5,000 to $10,000 or higher, traditional kiosk machines can be quite expensive. As a matter of fact, tablets cost five to ten times less than a kiosk does, which ultimately makes them a better option for SMBs, start-ups and low-turnover companies.
Another prominent reason is the fact that they take far less space than the traditional kiosk machines, which turn out to be pretty favourable for companies with space crunch and small-size retail stores where floor space is limited, and the usage needs to be calculated. On top of that, tablets are the new-age devices that today’s customers are quite familiar with and this gives them the required comfort level in using the devices seamlessly.
The portability of tablet kiosks helps business owners and retailers to place them anywhere inside the shops and stores where they are easily accessible by visitors, onlookers and customers. Being portable, it becomes easier to carry them from one location to another as per business requirements.
Challenges of Tablet Kiosks
Although tablets and iPads are being extensively adopted in the marketplace by several companies for their proven advantages, they too have their share of challenges and issues. One of them is – possessing a small screen size, tablet kiosks will not prove to be a good fit as a display kiosk if used at wider public areas where it needs to be visible to a large number of people at once. Here, correctly designed traditional kiosks can be used more relevantly to cater to high-traffic areas.
While tablet kiosks invite better customer engagement by serving as a self-service/interactive kiosk, their visibility becomes a concern in an overtly crowded area and sometimes the content displayed cannot be conveniently read or seen from a distance by the visitors. Also, using the required peripherals like printers, card readers etc, can also be a challenge with tablet kiosks. Another issue of using tablets as kiosks is the risk of device theft and data loss. In some cases, the popups and upgraded messages can also be seen by the customers, which definitely is unattractive and interruptive in nature.
Use of a tablet kiosk software can resolve the challenges
Using a powerful and intuitive tablet kiosk mode software can mitigate the challenges associated with managing and securing these tablet kiosks and the data inside the devices. A robust MDM solution with kiosk management feature can:
- Lockdown corporate-owned tablets into single or multi-app mode
- Disable access to and downloading of non-business apps and websites
- Can silently and remotely publish, update and delete private apps on kiosks
- Whitelist pre-selected apps and websites to prevent distractions and device misuse
- Lockdown a wide range of tablets from POS systems, rugged tablets and custom devices
Although tablet kiosks are being rapidly adopted by companies across several sectors for their prominent business benefits, it is important to understand the challenges associated with them to ensure that they don’t impact customer experience, cost efficiency and device/data security. In most cases, using a kiosk management software can help companies meet this purpose. While traditional kiosks are slowly being replaced by these tablet kiosks, their usefulness cannot be totally denied when it comes to specific business scenarios where larger screen visibility becomes important.
Know how Scalefusion can seamlessly lockdown your Android, iOS, and Windows 10 tablets with robust kiosk software to drive business efficiency and employee productivity.