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Expanding the Use of Self-Serve Interactive Kiosks

Companies in various industries seek to reduce their operational costs, increase revenue opportunities and improve customer service by deploying interactive kiosks to assist their customers.

They typically use this market development strategy as an additional communications channel -- to enable their customers with convenient self-service options that don't require employee involvement.

Demand for new kiosks will increase at a steady pace. The number of interactive kiosks in operation will rise from approximately 1.6 million deployed in 2011 to nearly three million deployed globally by 2016.

"The self-service technology trend has been occurring for several years, with consumers increasingly seeking greater convenience in the channels that they choose to utilize," says Sam Lucero, practice director, M2M connectivity at ABI Research.

At the center of this self-service trend are interactive devices that are located in public places. Kiosks are not a new channel. In fact, consumers worldwide already use them for self-checkout in the supermarket or to checking-in for their flight at an airport.

According to the latest market study by ABI Research, interactive kiosks are now having a growing impact on the following seven market segments:
  • Entertainment (e.g. DVD rental, photo printing, movie ticket ordering)
  • Retail (e.g. self-checkout, deli-counter ordering, product information)
  • Travel (e.g. airport check-in, hotel check-in/check-out)
  • Financial services (e.g. bill payment, coin exchange, check cashing)
  • Healthcare (e.g. patient check-in, patient information, prescription refills)
  • Municipal & government (e.g. train/bus ticketing, driver’s license renewal, tax payment)
  • Information/other (e.g. wayfinding, information, human resources)

While the interactive kiosk market is expected to continue growing over the next five years, there remain some roadblocks to address -- in order to sustain the ongoing market development of the category.

"Interactive kiosks in various segments, such as healthcare, can face challenges regarding consumer acceptance, channel conflict with other means of interacting with the consumer, and with automated customer service not meeting a desired level of personalized support," says Lucero.

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