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Setting Up A Kiosk? Your Complete Guide To Kiosk Retail

By Maria Hickey on July 23rd, 2022

Self-service kiosks are now accepted as a convenient, high-tech way to facilitate a number of different transactions. There are many opportunities when setting up a self-service kiosk within your business, and they can be tailored to meet the needs of your customers. However, that doesn’t mean you can afford to ignore the protection offered by specialist retail insurance from Brisco.

Why Is Kiosk Retail So Important?

A self-service kiosk’s most significant advantage is the ability to do everything themselves, quickly, efficiently and in an entirely personalised way. You only need to look at the example set by fast-food giant McDonald’s to see how introducing self-service kiosks has re-invented the way customers purchase. McDonalds has personalised orders giving the power to customers. Ordering a burger without the bun, adding extra bacon or cheese, and choosing eat in or take away, is now a simple click.

Self-service kiosk operations have really taken off in the Covid era because they need no human interaction. Introducing a method for customers to continue to buy their products with high-level safety was a real game-changer for McDonald’s. And a kiosk is easily adaptable for many retail-based business operations too!

Are Kiosks Only For Fast Food Restaurants?

You can take the concept of a self-service kiosk and apply it to many areas within the retail industry, which means that this technology isn’t only for the sole benefit of fast-food restaurants.

For example, installing self-service kiosks can produce a faster checkout experience with shorter customer queues. It also means you can streamline your retail operations and lower overheads. Employee costs are one of the biggest drains on any retail business’s bottom line. Integrating kiosk methods in areas that don’t need direct human interaction can deliver a significant overall saving.

Here are some examples of this in action:

  • Retail Self-Checkout Kiosks:
    Kiosk integration can include adding scanning technology directly to shopping trolleys in retail shop settings. As customers add products to their trolley, the kiosk technology automatically adds the item to the bill. Once the customer has finished shopping, the technology provides an instant payment option at the end. You simply pay and leave the shop with no waiting around in queues at the till or having to load items onto a conveyor belt to be checked out by a shop assistant.
  • Check-In/Check-Out Kiosks for Hotels:
    Self-check-in and checkout kiosks are ideal for hotels that allow them to free up valuable hotel staff for more meaningful duties. Many roles within the hotel industry cannot be automated, but this doesn’t include the simple check-in and out needed for each customer. Automated self-check-in/out kiosk technologies can make this process much quicker and smoother with a simple screen interface and card swiping capabilities.
  • Banking Kiosks:
    High street banks, building societies and other financial institutions led the way years ago by integrating cashpoint tills into their operations. These days they now offer counter-free banking where people can now do more than withdrawing money and check their bank balance. Self-service kiosks in banks can now process new account applications and display a range of information for loans, overdrafts, insurance, and other banking services. This cuts down on long waits in line to talk to a banking clerk to get the information they need.
  • Survey Kiosks:
    Customer feedback and insights offer valuable information that helps retailers to improve their customer services. Encouraging your customers to complete surveys, questionnaires and feedback forms via a kiosk will let them have their voices heard about your business.

Advantages of Self-Service Kiosks

There are many advantages to adopting self-service kiosks into retail businesses, and here we summarise some of the key reasons why you should consider integrating this technology:

  1. Frees Up Human Staff:
    Automating some areas of your retail operation will allow you to move your staff to areas that need the human touch. This means you can make significant savings on staffing overheads, and your team will have more rewarding roles within your business where they can use their skills to enhance your customer service.
  2. Improved Efficiency:
    With reduced queuing times and quicker movement of customers at your check-out, it will reduce customer frustration and encourage more return customers for top-up shops where they are not waiting around to be served. You will be able to serve more people in a shorter time frame, boosting profits and raising efficiency.
  3. Adaptable Solution:
    Retail spaces are forever evolving to cater to changing customer demands and to take advantage of new technologies to improve efficiencies. Advancements in new technologies mean you can update and upgrade your systems without needing to replace the whole kiosk.
  4. Improves Customer Experience:
    A modern self-service kiosk can provide your customers with a wealth of features and information at the touch of a button. Your kiosk set-up will not only be able to provide information that answers customer questions, but it will allow them to order and pay instantly, which adds tremendous value to your customer experience.

Disadvantages of Self-Service Retail Kiosks

While self-service kiosks are here to stay and will be a standard part of everyday life in the years to come, they come with some disadvantages you need to address to smooth out their integration into your retail business. These include:

  1. Potential Customer Frustration:
    There is a learning curve to any new technology, so you will need to ease customer frustrations if they don’t understand how to use your kiosk. You will need staff nearby to assist customers using your kiosk for the first time. There may also be teething issues where the kiosk doesn’t work correctly, so you will need to have staff around that can step in to help.
  2. Software Failures / Downtime:
    Some downtime can be expected from time to time should you have a hardware or software failure that needs fixing. You will need to maintain your self-service kiosks to ensure they run optimally.
  3. Non-Standard Transactions (Alcohol, etc.):
    If you sell alcohol and cigarettes, you will still need to have staff on hand for age verification.
  4. Limits Personal Interaction:
    Many people complain that automated checkouts limit human interaction in a negative way. A fast and efficient self-checkout is the height of convenience for many busy shoppers. Still, for others, it can make people feel more isolated from society due to a lack of human interaction.


Self-service kiosks have become a part of everyday life in recent years. And it looks like this technology will continue to make it faster and easier for retail customers to find what they want and then pay and go in one smooth motion without the need to queue at a till or remove their items from their trolley or shopping basket.

These self-service kiosks come in many shapes and sizes and are set to make things a lot easier for both customers and retail businesses in the future.

If you are in the process of adopting and integrating self-service kiosk technologies, you can find cheap shop insurance quotes to cover your new assets by working with our team at Brisco Business Insurance. With our help, you can easily compare business insurance quotes and find the policy that meets all of your needs.

Maria Hickey

For more than 20 years, Maria has worked in the insurance sector and has extensive underwriting and customer service expertise. Maria is an experienced Senior Underwriter with a particular specialism for shop, office and surgery related insurance.

All articles by Maria Hickey

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