10 Tips for Optimizing Your Retail Self-Ordering Kiosk

For the retail industry, efficiency and customer satisfaction are crucial for success. One way to achieve both is by implementing a retail self-ordering kiosk. These automated machines allow customers to place orders and make payments without human interaction. The global self-service kiosk market is rapidly growing, with projections expecting it to reach USD 43.65 billion by 2028 (Source Arizton Advisory & Intelligence). RBR Data Services forecasts that there will be nearly 700,000 kiosks installed worldwide by 2028 (Source).

This article offers 10 essential tips for optimizing the performance of retail self-ordering kiosks and maximizing revenue generation.

10 Tips for Optimizing Your Retail Self-Ordering Kiosk

Following these tips, you can optimize your retail self-ordering kiosk for a positive customer experience, increased efficiency, and potential revenue growth. Remember, the key lies in creating a user-friendly, accessible, and informative platform that empowers customers and streamlines their shopping experience.

1. Choose the Right Location

The placement of your self-ordering kiosk plays a crucial role in its success. Consider high-traffic areas within your store or strategically position kiosks near entrances or popular product displays. By placing them in easily accessible locations, you can capture customers’ attention and encourage usage.

However, the optimal placement can vary depending on your store layout, customer behavior, and traffic flow. To determine the most effective spot for your kiosks, consider conducting A/B testing. This involves setting up the kiosks in two (or more) different locations and monitoring customer usage data for each position. Analyzing this data lets you identify which placement leads to the highest adoption rate and overall customer satisfaction.

Here are some additional benefits of A/B testing your kiosk placement:

  • Data-driven decisions: Rely on concrete information instead of assumptions about customer behavior.
  • Optimize kiosk ROI: Get the most out of your investment by ensuring maximum customer interaction.
  • Improved customer experience: By placing kiosks in the most convenient locations, you can enhance the overall shopping experience.

2. Optimize Your Deals and Promotions

Use your self-ordering kiosk as a powerful marketing tool to showcase deals and promotions. Highlight special offers, discounts, or combo deals directly on the kiosk interface to grab customers’ attention and encourage them to add more to their carts.

But beyond just displaying promotions, here’s how to maximize their impact:

  • Integrate loyalty programs: Connect your kiosk to your existing loyalty program. This feature enables customers to rapidly earn and redeem points via the kiosk, thus encouraging repeat purchases and fostering customer loyalty.
  • Utilize customer segmentation: Personalize promotions based on customer data. Leverage your loyalty program information to tailor offers to specific customer segments. For example, highlight healthy meal options for health-conscious customers or offer birthday discounts.
  • Test different promotion formats: Don’t just throw promotions at the wall and see what sticks. Conduct A/B testing to determine which format resonates best with your target audience. Try presenting discounts as percentages, fixed dollar amounts, or combo deals and see which drives the highest average order value.

3. Provide Linear Navigation

Ensure your self-ordering kiosk offers a seamless and intuitive user experience. Here are some key features to consider:

  • Minimize steps and optimize flow: Structure the ordering process with the fewest possible steps, clearly guiding customers from browsing the menu to finalizing their payment. Every extra step adds friction, so prioritize a streamlined experience.
  • Concise and user-friendly instructions: Use clear and concise language throughout the kiosk interface. Provide step-by-step instructions for ordering, making it easy for customers to understand the process.
  • Progress indicator: Implement a progress bar or visual indicator to show customers their position within the ordering process. It’s important to manage expectations to avoid confusion and ensure everyone is on the same page.
  • Quick reorder for frequent purchases: Facilitate repeat business by offering a “quick reorder” option for commonly purchased items. This allows customers to bypass the menu selection for their favorites, saving them time and effort.
  • User interface testing: Collect feedback from a diverse group of users to test the kiosk’s user interface. This helps uncover usability issues and ensures accessibility for all.
  • On-screen guide and tutorials: Provide on-screen tutorials or a user guide that is accessible within the kiosk interface. This can be especially helpful for first-time users, familiarizing them with the kiosk’s functionalities and making their initial ordering experience smooth.

4. Use Photography to Showcase Your Products

Visual appeal is essential when enticing customers to make a purchase. To showcase your offerings, include high-quality product images on your self-ordering kiosk interface.

Using high-quality product images on your self-ordering kiosk interface has several key benefits.

  • Increased Sales: High-quality images can increase click-through rates and boost sales by making your products more appealing.
  • Improved Customer Experience: Clear and professional images help customers visualize the product, reducing confusion and leading to a more satisfying shopping experience.
  • Reduced Order Errors: Customers can accurately identify the desired product, minimizing the chance of incorrect selections and order mistakes.
  • Boosted Confidence in Choices: Detailed visuals allow customers to make informed purchase decisions, leading to greater confidence and satisfaction.

5. Use Simple Language and Clear Illustrations

Avoid technical jargon or complex language on your self-ordering kiosk interface. Communicate instructions and options using simple language. Supplement text with clear illustrations or icons to enhance understanding, especially for customers with language barriers or visual impairments.

Benefits of using simple language and clear visuals on your self-ordering kiosk interface:

  • Improved Usability for All: Simple language ensures everyone, regardless of technical background or native language, can understand how to use the kiosk.
  • Reduced User Errors: Clear instructions and visuals minimize confusion and prevent customers from making mistakes while navigating the ordering process.
  • Increased Customer Satisfaction: A user-friendly interface with clear instructions fosters a smooth and frustration-free experience, leading to higher customer satisfaction.
  • Enhanced Accessibility: Utilizing icons and visuals alongside text caters to users with visual impairments or language barriers, promoting kiosk inclusivity.

6. Provide Clear Messaging

Ensure your self-ordering kiosk communicates clearly and keeps customers informed throughout the ordering process. Here’s how:

  • Transparent messaging: Display essential information such as order processing times, pickup locations, and customization options. This transparency helps manage customer expectations and prevents frustration.
  • Push notifications for order updates: Utilize push notifications (with customer consent) to keep customers informed about the status of their orders. This could include updates like “order confirmed,” “order prepared,” or “order ready for pickup.”
  • FAQs on the kiosk: Include a dedicated FAQ section on the kiosk interface to address common customer queries. This allows customers to find answers to basic questions independently, reducing the need for staff intervention and streamlining the overall experience.

But communication goes beyond just informing customers. Here’s how to create a two-way dialogue:

  • Implement a feedback system: Make it easy for customers to provide feedback about their experience with the kiosk. This could be through a simple on-screen rating system or a designated feedback form. Analyzing customer feedback can help you pinpoint improvement areas and address recurring concerns effectively.

7. Promote Your Kiosk Ordering System

Ensure your customers know the convenience and benefits of using the self-ordering kiosk. Display signage or use digital marketing channels to promote the availability of self-ordering options in your store. Emphasize the time-saving benefits, contactless experience, and exclusive promotions or rewards linked to the kiosk system.

Here are some additional ways to promote your self-ordering kiosks alongside the methods you mentioned:

In-Store Promotions:

  • Kiosk “Concierge”: Station an employee near the kiosk during peak hours to answer questions, offer guidance, and encourage hesitant customers to try it out.
  • Demonstrations: Run short, scheduled daily demonstrations showcasing the kiosk’s features and benefits. This can attract attention and familiarize customers with the ordering process.
  • Eye-catching Signage: Use bright, clear signage with visuals to highlight the kiosk’s location and benefits. Consider adding directional arrows or floor decals to guide customers toward the kiosks.

Interactive Features:

  • Product Demos: Integrate short video clips or interactive product demos into the kiosk interface. This allows customers to explore your offerings engagingly.
  • Gamification: Consider incorporating gamified elements like points or rewards when using the kiosk. This can incentivize first-time use and encourage repeat visits.

Social Media Engagement:

  • One effective method to increase engagement on social media is to run contests or giveaways through a kiosk for participation.
  • Post customer testimonials showcasing positive experiences with the kiosk to build trust and social proof.
  • Create shareable content like short videos or tutorials demonstrating how to use the kiosk effectively.

Additional Ideas:

  • Offer exclusive kiosk-only promotions or discounts to incentivize initial use.
  • Partner with delivery services to allow kiosk orders to be delivered directly to customers’ tables or cars.
  • Collect customer feedback through the kiosk interface or via surveys to understand user experience and identify areas for improvement.

8. Focus on Ongoing Improvements

Regularly evaluate the performance of your self-ordering kiosk system and gather feedback from customers. Use this data to identify areas for improvement and make necessary updates or enhancements. Continuously refining and optimizing your kiosk system ensures its effectiveness and enhances customer experience.

Here are three ways to use the copy on how to make improvements to your self-ordering kiosk system:

  • Conduct A/B Testing: Use the data collected to run A/B tests on different kiosk functionalities or interface layouts. This lets you compare customer behavior and identify which versions lead to higher engagement and satisfaction.
  • Prioritize Customer Feedback: Analyze customer feedback to pinpoint recurring issues or areas of confusion. Address these concerns by implementing kiosk updates, adding more precise instructions, or incorporating customer-required features.
  • Track Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): Monitor key metrics like order completion time, average order value, and kiosk usage rates. Analyze how these KPIs change over time and identify areas for improvement. For example, a drop in order completion time could indicate a successful interface optimization, while a decline in kiosk usage might necessitate further in-store promotion.

9. Use Your Kiosk Data to Make Smart Business Decisions

Leverage the data collected from your self-ordering kiosk system to gain insights into customer preferences, popular menu items, and peak ordering times. Analyze this data to inform strategic decisions, such as menu optimization, pricing adjustments, or targeted marketing campaigns. By utilizing the data effectively, you can maximize revenue and customer satisfaction.

Here are three ways to use customer data from a self-service kiosk to make intelligent business decisions:

1. Product Optimization and Marketing: Analyze popular menu items and identify frequently purchased combinations. Use this data to:

  • Refine your menu: Highlight best-selling items, introduce seasonal variations on popular choices, or consider phasing out underperforming items.
  • Develop targeted promotions: Create special offers or combo deals that bundle frequently purchased items.
  • Personalize marketing campaigns: Leverage customer data to send targeted email or social media promotions based on their kiosk purchase history.

2. Inventory Management and Resource Allocation: Analyze peak ordering times and identify high-demand items during those periods. This data can help you:

  • Optimize inventory management: Ensure you have sufficient stock of popular items during peak hours to avoid stockouts and customer frustration.
  • Staff scheduling: Strategically allocate resources based on anticipated kiosk usage patterns to ensure efficient service and reduce wait times.

3. Improve Kiosk Design and Functionality: Analyze customer dwell time on specific menu sections or identify frequently skipped steps in the ordering process. This data can inform improvements to the kiosk interface, such as:

  • Refine kiosk layout: Reorganize menu sections based on customer browsing patterns for a more intuitive flow.
  • Simplify ordering steps: Eliminate unnecessary steps or streamline complex selections to expedite the process.

10. Choose the Right Partner

Partnering with a reliable and experienced provider, such as EZ-Chow, can make a significant difference in optimizing your self-ordering kiosk system. Look for a partner that offers comprehensive solutions, including hardware, software, and ongoing support. Their expertise can help ensure a seamless implementation and provide valuable guidance in maximizing the benefits of self-ordering kiosks for your business.

Here are three reasons why you should choose EZ-Chow as your kiosk partner, based on the provided copy:

1. Seamless Implementation and Ongoing Support:  EZ-Chow goes beyond just selling kiosks. They offer a comprehensive solution, including hardware, software, and ongoing support. This ensures a smooth implementation process and provides you with a reliable partner to address any technical issues or answer questions that arise after installation.

2. Expertise to Maximize Kiosk Benefits: Partnering with EZ-Chow leverages their expertise in the self-ordering kiosk industry. They can guide you in maximizing the benefits of this technology for your specific business. This could involve advice on kiosk placement, optimizing the user interface for your customers, or utilizing data collected from the kiosks to improve your offerings.

3. Experienced and Reliable Provider: Choosing EZ-Chow means partnering with a reliable and experienced provider in the kiosk space. A reputable company with a successful kiosk implementation history can provide peace of mind. Their experience can be invaluable in helping you navigate the process and ensuring a successful rollout of self-ordering kiosks in your business.

Wrapping Up

Retail self-ordering kiosks offer numerous benefits, including reduced wait times, increased order accuracy, and enhanced customer loyalty. By following these 10 tips for optimizing your self-ordering kiosk system, you can create a seamless and efficient customer experience while increasing your revenue. Remember to choose the right location, optimize your deals, provide precise navigation, showcase your products visually, and continuously improve your system based on customer feedback and data analysis. With the right strategies, your retail self-ordering kiosk can become valuable in driving customer satisfaction and business success.



Bernie Fussenegger
Bernie Fussenegger,
Marketing,Branding & e-Commerce -Consultant
Click to learn more about Bernie Fussenegger

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