Retail | What is

What Is a Kiosk? Types, Pros/Cons & Examples

In retail, a kiosk is a digital display or small structure that businesses often place in high-traffic areas to engage customers.

Published May 24, 2023

Meaghan Brophy

REVIEWED BY: Meaghan Brophy

Mary King


kiosk business model definition

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  • 1 Interactive Kiosks
  • 2 Wayfinding Kiosks
  • 3 Internet Kiosks
  • 4 Self-service Kiosks
  • 5 Shoppable Kiosks
  • 6 Informational Kiosks
  • 7 Product Kiosks
  • 8 Promotional Kiosks
  • 9 Pros & Cons
  • 10 Examples by Industry
  • 11 History & Outlook
  • 13 Bottom Line

Kiosks offer a great opportunity to improve store functions and customer experience by providing information or offering self-service options. They often incorporate an interactive display screen, though they can also be non-interactive. In this article, we will look at different kiosk types, discuss how kiosks can improve your business, and examine how real-life companies are implementing kiosks into their business operations.

Types of Kiosks

There are several types of kiosks you can choose from when starting your business based on what you want them to add. They all offer something unique, and in general, there are two buckets that they fall into: interactive or non-interactive.

Interactive Kiosks

Interactive kiosks are not static—customers can engage with them. Many business types use interactive kiosks, including retailers, restaurants, service businesses, and destinations like malls and airports. Interactive kiosks can help customers with wayfinding and navigation, self-service ordering or check-in, making purchases, or even providing internet access.

Wayfinding Kiosks

Wayfinding kiosks help customers find their way through your space and include directories, maps, and directional displays.

Whereas wayfinding kiosks used to be static, today, you typically find ones with a touch-screen feature that shoppers can use to search or explore your map. Wayfinding kiosks are most often found in malls and big box stores where customers are at risk of getting lost, losing their orientation in your space, or not being able to find what they are searching for without assistance.

A shopper reviews a mall map on a freestanding digital display.

Wayfinding kiosks make it easier for customers to navigate through your space and give them the tools to find anything they might need. (Source: Sakthi Solutions)

Internet Kiosks

Internet kiosks are digital displays that offer internet access to the public and are designed to improve customer experience, not drive sales. These interactive kiosks are typically found in airports, hotel lobbies, apartment offices, or other hospitality businesses. Aside from a monitor, mouse, and keyboard, internet kiosks will sometimes include credit card swipe and bill pay capabilities.

Internet kiosks.

Internet kiosks create a convenient service for your customers and improve their experience. (Source: Lamasa Tech)

Self-service Kiosks

Another popular type of interactive kiosk is the self-service kiosk. Customers can use this to perform shopping activities themselves without having to recruit or wait on the assistance of a store associate. This is increasingly preferable among customers as it cuts down on wait times and gives customers control over their shopping experience. It can even help to boost your sales.

Self-service kiosks are found in a variety of industries, including restaurants, hotels, groceries, and convenience stores.

  • Restaurant Ordering Kiosk
  • Check-in Kiosks
  • Checkout Kiosks
  • Photo Kiosks

Restaurant ordering kiosks are digital touch screens that customers can use to create their orders and send them straight to the kitchen.

Restaurant ordering kiosk.

Restaurant ordering kiosks improve customer experience and can even boost sales. (Source: Toast)

In recent years, restaurant ordering kiosks have become increasingly popular among customers. In fact, a much-reported study from Forbes found that 65% of customers said they would be more willing to visit a restaurant if a self-service ordering kiosk was available. To diners, when they can enter their own order specifications and send them directly to the kitchen, accuracy and speed of service are increased, improving their experience and satisfaction.

Self-service ordering kiosks, however, are not only great for customers; they are also great for you. On average, when using an ordering kiosk, diners are likely to spend 12–20% more per ticket , with some restaurants even reporting increased spending as high as 30%.

Did you know?

Nearly 80% of customers say that they’d prefer to order food via self-service ordering kiosks rather than directly through staff—and not just for fast food. 45% of customers prefer it for casual dining, and 21% prefer it for fine dining. Not only that, but 11% of customers would avoid a restaurant with no digital menus. See our recommendations for the best restaurant self-service kiosks .

Another place you will frequently see self-service kiosks is for check-in services at hotels or other hospitality businesses. These kiosks offer a digital display where customers can check into their rooms, flights, events, or otherwise and help to accelerate the check-in process and cut down on lines.

Check-in kiosks.

Check-in kiosks allow customers to check in when they are ready and make their process smoother. (Source: Ridzeal)

Another type of kiosk that you have likely run into is the checkout kiosk, most often found in grocery and convenience stores. This offers shoppers a digital display that walks them through the scanning, bagging, and payment process, allowing them to complete a purchase without having to wait in a checkout line or interact with a store associate. You will sometimes see checkout kiosks with item limits; however, this is not required and can be used to check out any size purchase.

Self-service checkout kiosk.

Self-service checkout kiosks let shoppers check out on their own time and help to reduce lines and wait times. (Source: Strongpoint)

A photo kiosk is an interactive kiosk found in many drugstores, discount stores, art stores, and grocery stores. Photo kiosks have a number of different features, but most offer the convenience of submitting photos for printing, resizing, or enlarging. Customers often prefer to process photos this way, as it cuts down on time and gives them full control over the development process and finished product.

Kodak kiosk.

Kodak offers a popular photo kiosk that you often find in drugstores or photo shops. (Source: Photo Finisher Supplies)

Shoppable Kiosks

The next type of interactive kiosk we will look at is shoppable kiosks or kiosks that customers can use to browse merchandise and make purchases. In general, there are two types of shoppable kiosks: vending and product catalog kiosks.

  • Vending Kiosks
  • Catalog Kiosks

Vending kiosks are just as they sound—they are large vending machines filled with your store’s products. Customers can use them to purchase items when they are outside of your store. You often find these in airports, large malls, and hotels, and they are typically stocked with smaller items like cosmetic products, accessories, tech items, and other knick-knacks. They are a great way to increase your reach, improve brand recognition, and inspire purchases outside of your storefront.

Vending kiosk.

Vending kiosks are a great way to expand the availability of your products. (Source: Twitter)

Another kind of shoppable kiosk is the product catalog kiosk, which provides a digital display where customers can view all your products and even place orders. These are especially popular in home goods, appliances, technology, and other retail stores with large products that cannot all be stored or displayed in-store or that have a lot of size or other variations.

Product catalog kiosk.

Product catalog kiosks allow customers to see all the products and variations you have to offer. (Source: Wondersign)

Non-interactive Kiosks

In addition to interactive kiosks, there are non-interactive kiosks that businesses use to convey information or advertise goods and services. They are a great way to see how the public might react to a product or idea and can also be used to keep important information easily accessible to improve shoppers’ experiences.

Informational Kiosks

The first type of non-interactive kiosk is the informational kiosk. It is a free-standing digital display that businesses use to show important information about store operations or new products. While informational kiosks can be used as a merchandising element in stores, you can also place them in your surrounding neighborhood or beyond and are a great opportunity to increase your brand’s reach.

Informational kiosks are used across industries, from restaurants to retail to hospitality. There are truly no parameters to what information is appropriate for informational kiosks, making them adaptable to any business.

Informational kiosk.

Informational kiosks help publicize exciting news about your brand. (Source: Business Wire)

Product Kiosks

One of the most common types of non-interactive kiosks that you will come across is the product kiosk, which is specifically used to showcase a new product. These are great for creating hype around a new item, giving customers information, and gleaning customer reactions to your ideas.

Product kiosks are typically used in retail businesses; however, you will also see restaurants and hospitality businesses using them to advertise their new products and services.

Informational kiosk located at a bus stop.

A new luxury apartment building advertises its penthouse suites on an informational kiosk located at a bus stop. (Source: A Blog by Peerless)

Promotional Kiosks

The final kind of non-interactive kiosk we will look at is the promotional kiosk—which, as you might have guessed from its name, is used to display information about your promotions or events. Unlike product and information kiosks, promotional kiosks should be located either in your store or in the immediate vicinity. If it is able to draw people’s attention and pique their interest in your sale, the last thing you want is to place too much distance between the event and the ad.

Kiosk outside Burger King restaurant.

Outside of the Burger King restaurant, the fast food joint advertises its new sandwich and rock-bottom price to try and draw in passersby. (Source: Prime Site)

Pros & Cons of Kiosks

Now that we have reviewed all the types of kiosks, it’s time to answer the question of why you might use them in the first place. They are an investment, after all, whether you are buying the kiosk or just renting its ad space.

So, let’s take a look at some of the pros adding kiosks to your business:

Improve Store Operations

Kiosks can fill a number of roles in your store that will help improve its operation and make things easier for you. Whether they are speeding customers through the ordering process, sharing important information, or helping customers find their way through your space, kiosks offer an automated solution to improve store operations.

Cut Down on Customer Frustrations

With the modern customer placing more and more emphasis on convenience, incorporating kiosks into your store will help empower shoppers and improve their experience by

  • Giving them self-service options for things like ordering food, checking into their stay, or printing services so that they can do things on their own time and avoid waiting time
  • Keeping important information at their fingertips
  • Empowering them to find things in their store without having to search for assistance
  • Putting internet services at their disposal

Fill Staffing Holes

As we all know, staffing has become an increasingly daunting challenge for businesses in the post-COVID-19 world. In fact, according to a recent survey by the National Restaurant Association, 62% of restaurant owners said they still struggle to find enough staff to meet customer demand, and a full 80% say that filling open positions is difficult. Another National Restaurant Association study found that 58% of restaurant operators said they expect that leveraging tech to alleviate labor shortages will become more common in the restaurant industry.

While you could continue down the traditional hiring path, incorporating kiosks into your business might actually be the wisest route. To maximize staffing efficiencies, 38% of businesses plan to automate operational activities .

Interactive kiosks can be used in place of staff. Since you don’t have to pay a kiosk a salary, you’ll save a good amount of money. Also, since kiosks can provide your customers with answers to many of their buying concerns, you can focus your labor costs on sales professionals to further increase your total sales volume. Moreover, opting for a kiosk instead of a traditional retail space will keep your rent and overhead costs down while you still benefit from increased visibility.

Increase Reach

Since kiosks are often placed at strategic locations beyond your physical storefront, you’ll be able to reach more potential customers. This helps expand your customer base, which ultimately increases your company’s ability to sell more products.

As you can see, kiosks can bring a lot to your business. However, they are not foolproof. There are some potential pitfalls to using kiosks, so it’s important to note some kiosk cons.

Some Customers Prefer Personal Attention

Most internal studies from the airline and hotel industries over the years have repeatedly shown that about 20% of customers dislike self-service kiosks. Recently, about 55% of customers still report preferring a staffed checkout lane to self-service when both are available. Most of these customers are in the Gen X and Baby Boom generations—only 17% of baby boomers and 37% of Gen Xers report preferring self-service kiosks . So, it is important that any self-service plan in your business also retains a clear option for in-person service.

Bad Self-service Repels Customers

When errors occur in self-service, it turns a customer off. A study by the Cornell School of Hospitality Management found that many customers are reluctant to return if they have a bad self-service experience. Your team should regularly update your self-service tools to ensure they are operating error-free.

They Have a Learning Curve

Your new kiosks aren’t going to read the employee manual you painstakingly wrote. Managing a fleet of kiosks requires managerial upskilling to get the best value from your investment. Store owners and managers need to know how to troubleshoot common kiosk malfunctions and—beyond that—how to format their kiosks to be user-friendly from the beginning. Most kiosk providers or POS brands that include kiosk tools provide detailed training. Make sure you and your managers receive this training.

To avoid the major drawbacks of kiosks, it’s important to retain the option for personalized service. When customers can clearly see a staff member nearby to assist them, most kiosk drawbacks disappear.

Kiosk Examples by Industry

Kiosks are growing in popularity across industries, demonstrating just how versatile and important they are to modern marketing . Here we will take a look at four examples of kiosk usage—in retail, restaurant, healthcare, and hospitality—to see how varying industries are implementing different kinds of kiosks into their operations.

  • Retail: Sephora
  • Restaurant: Panera
  • Healthcare: CVS Minute Clinic
  • Hospitality: Marriott

Sephora's cosmetic vending kiosk.

Sephora rolled out its cosmetic vending kiosks in locations like airports and hotels. (Source: hello beauty!)

Sephora, the world leader in beauty, recently rolled out its vending kiosks where people can purchase some of its most popular products. Its vending machines have been very successful, and shoppers love them and the convenience they bring. This is mainly due to Sephora’s ingenious vending kiosk placement.

The beauty and personal care retailer positioned vending machines across airports and hotels in the United States, providing the forgetful traveler a convenient place to pick up items they forgot and expanding the brand’s reach.

Panera's ordering kiosk.

Panera’s ordering kiosk makes getting your food faster and helps you avoid lines. (Source: QSR Magazine)

Panera, a fast casual cafe, uses self-service ordering kiosks to help improve its store operations and customer satisfaction. These kiosks let customers create custom orders that they can send straight to the kitchen for prep. This has helped Panera overcome staffing shortages and has cut down on lines and waiting times immensely, leaving both Panera business owners and their customers happy.

CVS check-in kiosks.

CVS check-in kiosks help save on staffing costs and allow patients to input their own personal information. (Source: CVS Health)

CVS Minute Clinics have rolled out checkout kiosks that allow patients to check in for their appointments, input their personal information, and view live wait times on its digital display. Rather than working with a receptionist to log all of your information and check you in, CVS opted to automate this process to save money on staffing.

Not only that, but CVS’s check-in kiosks have also made it so doctors already have your information when you enter your appointment. This speeds operations up by saving doctors, as well as patients, time as they don’t have to go over personal information during the session.

Marriott's new check-in kiosks.

Marriott’s new check-in kiosks give customers more autonomy. (Source: Marriott News)

Marriott is rolling out contactless check-in kiosks at several of its US locations. With them, customers can check in and out of their stay, print new room keys, ask questions, and even make hospitality requests like room service or new towels.

The company aims to give its customers more autonomy in the check-in process and to inspire confidence in the hotel’s commitment to cleanliness. Not only that, but there is potential to save on staffing over time if the launch yields positive customer reactions.

Kiosk History & Outlook

  • Original kiosks ( kiūshks ) come from the 13th century and referred to lightly constructed outdoor pavilions or summerhouses popular in Persia and Turkey.
  • In the 1860s, French sidewalk merchants used a similar idea to construct temporary market stalls along Paris’ major thoroughfares to sell newspapers and other goods.
  • The service kiosk took root in Western cultures, evolving from a manned market stall to a self-service telephone booth or ticket booth.
  • Self-service kiosks seem to have developed alongside vending machines in the 1800s.
  • These days, when most people say “kiosk,” they mean a freestanding self-service station where customers can place orders, pay, check in for services, or purchase tickets.
  • Touch screens and high-functioning, widely available consumer-grade tablets like iPads make it easy for independent retailers and restaurants to add self-service options.
  • In fact, 74% of retailers plan to add kiosks to their business in 2023 , and 94% of retailers plan to add kiosks by 2027

Kiosk Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What does kiosk mean.

The word kiosk originally described an outdoor pavilion. Nowadays, people use the word kiosk alternately to describe a market stall that sells goods like newspapers, as well as self-service touch-screen systems used for processing orders and payments.

What is a kiosk used for?

Kiosks can be used for all types of self-service tasks, including:

  • Getting directions and weather updates
  • Purchasing tickets
  • Checking in for hotel reservations, transportation services, salon appointments or restaurant reservations
  • Making retail purchases
  • Placing and paying for food orders
  • Completing customer satisfaction surveys

How much does a kiosk cost?

Kiosks vary greatly in price based on hardware type and functionality. The more functions you need, the higher the costs. If you need a kiosk that accepts cash or dispenses tickets, you’ll definitely pay more than if you only need to accept orders and process credit card payments. A simple iPad POS with a wall mount will cost you around $500 (less if you already own an iPad) plus monthly software fees. For a freestanding kiosk that can accept cash, make change, and print tickets, you’re looking at multiple thousands of dollars.

Bottom Line

Modern customers are increasingly demanding more interactive features and greater convenience from the shopping experiences. This is why more and more companies are incorporating kiosk technology into their operations. With all the different kinds of kiosks on the market, you are sure to find one that can enhance your business and keep you competitive in today’s ever-evolving market.

About the Author

Mary King

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Mary King is an expert retail and restaurant contributor at Fit Small Business. With more than a decade of hospitality experience, Mary has worked with some of the best restaurants in the world, and some of the most forward-thinking hospitality programs in the country.

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What Is a Kiosk?

Understanding kiosks, history of kiosks, types of kiosks.

  • Pros and Cons of Kiosks

The Bottom Line

  • Business Essentials

What Is a Kiosk? Definition in Retail, History, Types, and Risks

kiosk business model definition

Amilcar has 10 years of FinTech, blockchain, and crypto startup experience and advises financial institutions, governments, regulators, and startups.

kiosk business model definition

A kiosk refers to a small, temporary, stand-alone booth used in high-traffic areas for marketing purposes. A kiosk is usually manned by one or two individuals who help attract attention to the booth to get new customers. Retail kiosks are frequently located in shopping malls or on busy city streets with significant foot traffic and provide owners with a low-cost alternative to market their products or services.

Key Takeaways

  • A kiosk refers to a small, temporary, stand-alone booth used in high-traffic areas for marketing purposes.
  • Kiosks may be manned by one or two individuals or may be electronic.
  • These booths are considered to be low-cost marketing strategies that are great alternatives for new, emerging entrepreneurs.
  • The different types of kiosks include employment kiosks, foodservice kiosks, healthcare kiosks, Bitcoin kiosks, and photo kiosks.
  • Kiosks can help raise brand awareness and provide an interactive way for consumers to engage with a company. They can also be frustrating if they are not maintained properly thereby hurting a brand's image.

Kiosks are generally small booths set up in high-traffic areas. You may see them in the walkways of shopping centers. They may be manned by individuals who sell a product or service; anything from toys and hair care products to insurance or credit cards .

Kiosks are not always supervised by humans. Some, in fact, are electronic, providing consumers with a self-service-style experience. These kiosks normally complement an existing service already offered by the kiosk owner. For example, some provincial government agencies in Canada allow the general public to perform certain tasks like renewing car registration or updating personal information for health cards and driver's licenses using electronic kiosks that act much like automated teller machines (ATMs). This allows the consumer to execute these tasks on their own without having to wait in line at a provincial ministry.

Because of their small, temporary natures, kiosks can be low-cost marketing strategies. Malls and other lessors may charge a smaller amount of rent to kiosk owners who might not need or afford a larger retail space. Kiosks can be a great way for new, emerging entrepreneurs to give their businesses a kickstart without sacrificing cost. That's because they give companies a human face and provide customers with the opportunity to ask questions about their products. Electronic kiosks give consumers a hassle-free, convenient experience.

Kiosks in the form of simple stalls or booths have been around for hundreds of years in one form or another. The first vending machines date back to the 1880s, which is when the idea of self-service was first brought to the public. These vending machines sold simple items, such as gum and postcards.

ATMs first came into use in the 1960s and set the template for how kiosks are known today. These types of machines took a while to catch on as individuals still preferred conducting financial transactions in person.

In 1970, IBM partnered with American Airlines and American Express to create the first airline ticket self-service kiosk. In 1977, the first complete self-service interactive kiosk was established at the University of Illinois, providing campus information to students and visitors.

In 1985, the Florsheim Shoe Company established the first network of kiosks. It consisted of 600 kiosks where shoppers could search for shoes in other locations, pay for them, and have them directly shipped to their homes.

Kiosks vary based on the nature of the business and whether the owner intends to make it electronic or man it with individuals. The location generally has a relation to the nature of the kiosk as well. A local newspaper might set up a kiosk at a grocery store to sign up new subscribers. Similarly, credit card companies often set up kiosks in airports to seek new customers for a credit card that offers frequent-flyer miles.

Employment Kiosks

In addition to kiosks that sell retail products or services, some companies set up employment kiosks where job seekers can apply for work. This type of kiosk is especially common in chain stores such as Walmart. Employment kiosks provide a way to quickly identify promising candidates, who will often receive an interview on the spot.

The kiosk may include a computer station at which the applicant can use a keyboard or touchscreen to input their employment history, education, and personal data. Some employment kiosks also administer assessment tests to help determine an applicant's strengths and weaknesses. Information collected at the kiosk is frequently available to the hiring manager almost immediately.

Food Service Kiosks

In an effort to streamline the process of taking food orders, some restaurants install self-service kiosks. Customers can follow interactive prompts to select their meal and customize their order. The kiosks usually accept credit or debit cards , eliminating the need for a human cashier. When restaurants use kiosks, the need for counter personnel is reduced, lowering payroll costs for the company.

Healthcare Kiosks

The healthcare industry is also starting to implement kiosks as a method for accepting bill payments, checking in patients for appointments, and patient record keeping. At some kiosks, patients can even take their own blood pressure or perform other non-invasive tests and then relay the results to their doctors. In some cases, medical kiosks also offer educational videos about medical conditions and their treatments.

Patient kiosks can reduce medical costs by cutting down on paperwork and eliminating some clerical staff positions. Critics of medical kiosks are primarily concerned with patient confidentiality in their arguments against their use.

Bitcoin Kiosks

A Bitcoin kiosk, also known as a Bitcoin ATM , is a kiosk connected to the Internet that allows individuals to purchase Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies with cash they have deposited. The kiosk permits users to create a blockchain-based transaction that will send a cryptocurrency to the user's digital wallet. The Bitcoin kiosks are not actually ATMs in that they do not allow for the withdrawal or deposit of cash but rather function as a means to connect to the Internet to purchase cryptocurrencies.

Photo Kiosks

Although not as common as they once were, photo kiosks were popular in shopping centers in the 1980s and 1990s. For a small fee , people could pose in front of a camera lens that would take three to four photographs. Customers waited for a few moments while the booth developed and ejected the photos. Automatic photo kiosks also serve another purpose, allowing people to develop and print their own photographs from DVDs, portable hard drives, and memory sticks.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Kiosks

The primary advantage of a kiosk is that it improves the customer's shopping experience. Kiosks are easily accessible and the individuals working there are usually pleasant and ready to help, both of which make it simpler to provide the customer with detailed information on your product or service.

Another advantage is that because of their small size and ease of being built, kiosks can be strategically placed in a location that will receive a lot of foot traffic, thereby increasing your customer base. The more visible and accessible your business is, the likelier you will experience growth .

Kiosks can also reduce your business costs. The use of interactive kiosks removes the need for staff, thereby cutting down on employee wages and salaries. Kiosks also don't require the same costs of renting retail space in a shopping center or storefront, thereby reducing rental costs. The costs saved on labor and rent can be used in other aspects of growing your business, such as sales and marketing .

Kiosks also work as a branding tool and can help generate interest in your product. Uniquely designed kiosks, especially interactive ones, may attract new customers through sheer curiosity. A kiosk that provides a unique experience may generate goodwill with a consumer and raise awareness of your brand and product.


Kiosks may keep those customers away that prefer to deal with actual people rather than machines. This is particularly true for self-service kiosks, which may sometimes be difficult to operate for those that are not tech-savvy and may increase their frustration.

Larger, built-out kiosks may be difficult to move if needed as they are established in one place. This would require increased costs of taking it down and moving it or the need to build a new kiosk in another location.

Kiosks that do not have actual staff working there may be subject to an increase in crime, such as shoplifting and vandalism. This would require incorporating security measures, whether that be security alarms, cameras, or guards.

Kiosks will always require maintenance. Those that break down or have technical issues without an employee on hand to fix them or assist the shopper could hurt business and leave customers with a bad user experience, hurting your brand.

Improves customer shopping experience

Can increase customer base

Can reduce business costs

Helps improve branding

Can deter customers that prefer interacting with humans

Large, hardware-heavy kiosks can be expensive and difficult to move

Subject to shoplifting and vandalism

Kiosks with technical difficulties can hurt a brand

How Much Does It Cost to Rent a Kiosk at the Mall?

The cost depends on the location of the mall, the season of the year, and the product being sold. The cost is at least $800 per month but can reach the thousands. Some malls also ask for a percentage of sales.

What Is a Global Entry Kiosk at the Airport?

Global Entry is a program by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency that allows for expedited clearance for pre-approved travelers when they enter the U.S. There are self-service Global Entry kiosks at international airports in the U.S. that allow for entry after a quick approval.

What Can You Do at a USPS Self-Service Kiosk?

The USPS self-service kiosks allow for the purchase of stamps, the weighing of packages, the printing of Priority shipping labels, and the shipping of items.

What Is Kiosk Mode?

Kiosk mode is a mode that is offered by different web browsers. This allows the browser to be viewed in full screen without any other interface, such as a toolbar or menu. The purpose is to run the content on the entire screen and prevent the user from using the screen or kiosk for any other purpose.

Kiosks are small, temporary booths placed in areas with high foot traffic that are used by businesses to reach their customers in a more simple and informal manner. Kiosks are primarily used for marketing purposes and can be staffed by individuals or self-service. They are typically low-cost and help brands raise awareness of their products and services as well as allowing for an interactive way for consumers to engage with the company.

Technik MFG Inc. " A Brief History of the Kiosk ." Accessed April 5, 2021.

Entrepreneur. " How to Start a Kiosk Business ." Accessed April 5, 2021.

kiosk business model definition

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How to Start a Kiosk Business

Kiosk businesses are small, open-front selling stands. Typically, they’re located in malls, shopping centers, or similar areas.  A kiosk business sells mobile phone paraphernalia, newspapers, sunglasses, tickets, household supplies, and similar items. Typically, small kiosk businesses thrive off of their incredible accessibility. They’re often located in malls, public areas, and airports. While a kiosk business is often independent, kiosk business owners can become part of larger kiosk networks to generate more revenue.

Learn how to start your own Kiosk Business and whether it is the right fit for you.

Ready to form your LLC? Check out the Top LLC Formation Services .

Kiosk Business Image

Start a kiosk business by following these 10 steps:

  • Plan your Kiosk Business
  • Form your Kiosk Business into a Legal Entity
  • Register your Kiosk Business for Taxes
  • Open a Business Bank Account & Credit Card
  • Set up Accounting for your Kiosk Business
  • Get the Necessary Permits & Licenses for your Kiosk Business
  • Get Kiosk Business Insurance
  • Define your Kiosk Business Brand
  • Create your Kiosk Business Website
  • Set up your Business Phone System

We have put together this simple guide to starting your kiosk business. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant.

Exploring your options? Check out other small business ideas .

STEP 1: Plan your business

A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. It will help you map out the specifics of your business and discover some unknowns. A few important topics to consider are:

What will you name your business?

  • What are the startup and ongoing costs?
  • Who is your target market?

How much can you charge customers?

Luckily we have done a lot of this research for you.

Choosing the right name is important and challenging. If you don’t already have a name in mind, visit our How to Name a Business guide or get help brainstorming a name with our Kiosk Business Name Generator

If you operate a sole proprietorship , you might want to operate under a business name other than your own name. Visit our DBA guide to learn more.

When registering a business name , we recommend researching your business name by checking:

  • Your state's business records
  • Federal and state trademark records
  • Social media platforms
  • Web domain availability .

It's very important to secure your domain name before someone else does.

Want some help naming your kiosk business?

Business name generator, what are the costs involved in opening a kiosk business.

Kiosk business startup costs can range from $2,000 to $10,000, depending on a few things. First, a kiosk business’ sold products should be considered. Expensive items will be expensive to produce. Additionally, a kiosk’s location may be expensive to rent. While a kiosk exists in a temporary location, some entrepreneurs may find themselves relocating to make more money. A kiosk business owner’s main cost, of course, is the kiosk itself. Where leases are considered, a kiosk business owner may find themselves spending over $100,000 on three to 10 years.

What are the ongoing expenses for a kiosk business?

Kiosk business owners often spend about $800 per month for their space lease and cart maintenance. This cost depends heavily on mall traffic volume, the season and a location’s amenities. In some cases, however, a kiosk’s rate can be as high as $2,000 per month. Ongoing expenses also include emergency maintenance, products, and advertisement.

Who is the target market?

Your preferred customers will depend on your location, products, services, and environment. Because your kiosk will sell specific products, you should make sure it’s established in an area which caters to customers who want these products. Preferred customer locations include shopping malls, movie theaters, art walks, bars, and similar areas.

How does a kiosk business make money?

A kiosk business makes most of its revenue by selling either generic or niche products. Generic items aren’t necessarily useless, however. They simply have mass appeal. Some kiosks sell food instead of products. Others offer smartphone charging stations. Regardless, every kiosk business makes money by selling either a product or a service. Some kiosks can profit from advertisements, too.

Product and service costs vary wildly. Some kiosks sell hotdogs, which sell for between $1 and $3. Other kiosks, meanwhile, sell smartphones and smartphone amenities. Your product costs should be competitive with industry prices. You’ll also need to adhere to any industry selling standards before implementing a professional selling strategy.

How much profit can a kiosk business make?

Annually, a successful kiosk can make about $50,000. A kiosk’s success, however, is dependent on its sold items, location, and residence. Successful kiosks may decide to become permanent space occupants, capitalizing on the area’s customers. Other kiosks, meanwhile, may find it more advantageous to relocate.

How can you make your business more profitable?

Offer product variety. When possible, incorporate different styles, colors and materials. A go-to example, here, Is Crocs. While you can offer the same product over a long period of time, it’s advantageous to give passersby a reason to consider purchasing alternatives from you —the provider.

Prioritize mass appeal, too. A successful kiosk business may offer niche items, but it will also cater to large audiences. Remember your market, and play into the local crowd’s product needs. Additionally, pay attention to your service environment. If you’re in a mall, or another crowded area, give customers a reason to linger near your kiosk.

Want a more guided approach? Access TRUiC's free Small Business Startup Guide - a step-by-step course for turning your business idea into reality. Get started today!

STEP 2: Form a legal entity

The most common business structure types are the sole proprietorship , partnership , limited liability company (LLC) , and corporation .

Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC or corporation protects you from being held personally liable if your kiosk business is sued.

Form Your LLC

Read our Guide to Form Your Own LLC

Have a Professional Service Form your LLC for You

Two such reliable services:

You can form an LLC yourself and pay only the minimal state LLC costs or hire one of the Best LLC Services for a small, additional fee.

Recommended: You will need to elect a registered agent for your LLC. LLC formation packages usually include a free year of registered agent services . You can choose to hire a registered agent or act as your own.

STEP 3: Register for taxes

You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.

In order to register for taxes you will need to apply for an EIN. It's really easy and free!

You can acquire your EIN through the IRS website . If you would like to learn more about EINs, read our article, What is an EIN?

There are specific state taxes that might apply to your business. Learn more about state sales tax and franchise taxes in our state sales tax guides.

STEP 4: Open a business bank account & credit card

Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection.

When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your business is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil .

Open a business bank account

Besides being a requirement when applying for business loans, opening a business bank account:

  • Separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
  • Makes accounting and tax filing easier.

Recommended: Read our Best Banks for Small Business review to find the best national bank or credit union.

Get a business credit card

Getting a business credit card helps you:

  • Separate personal and business expenses by putting your business' expenses all in one place.
  • Build your company's credit history , which can be useful to raise money later on.

Recommended: Apply for an easy approval business credit card from BILL and build your business credit quickly.

STEP 5: Set up business accounting

Recording your various expenses and sources of income is critical to understanding the financial performance of your business. Keeping accurate and detailed accounts also greatly simplifies your annual tax filing.

Make LLC accounting easy with our LLC Expenses Cheat Sheet.

STEP 6: Obtain necessary permits and licenses

Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down.

State & Local Business Licensing Requirements

Certain state permits and licenses may be needed to operate a kiosk business. learn more about licensing requirements in your state by visiting sba’s reference to state licenses and permits ..

In addition, certain local licensing or regulatory requirements may apply. For more information about local licenses and permits:

  • Check with your town, city or county clerk’s office.

Get assistance from one of the local associations listed in US Small Business Associations directory of local business resources .

Most businesses are required to collect sales tax on the goods or services they provide. To learn more about how sales tax will affect your business, read our article, Sales Tax for Small Businesses .

STEP 7: Get business insurance

Just as with licenses and permits, your business needs insurance in order to operate safely and lawfully. Business Insurance protects your company’s financial wellbeing in the event of a covered loss.

There are several types of insurance policies created for different types of businesses with different risks. If you’re unsure of the types of risks that your business may face, begin with General Liability Insurance . This is the most common coverage that small businesses need, so it’s a great place to start for your business.

Another notable insurance policy that many businesses need is Workers’ Compensation Insurance . If your business will have employees, it’s a good chance that your state will require you to carry Workers' Compensation Coverage.

FInd out what types of insurance your Kiosk Business needs and how much it will cost you by reading our guide Business Insurance for Kiosk Business.

STEP 8: Define your brand

Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors.

If you aren't feeling confident about designing your small business logo, then check out our Design Guides for Beginners , we'll give you helpful tips and advice for creating the best unique logo for your business.

Recommended : Get a logo using Truic's free logo Generator no email or sign up required, or use a Premium Logo Maker .

If you already have a logo, you can also add it to a QR code with our Free QR Code Generator . Choose from 13 QR code types to create a code for your business cards and publications, or to help spread awareness for your new website.

How to promote & market a kiosk business

Promote your kiosk by being in a highly visible area. Because your kiosk will be a small business front, you won’t be able to market it via newspaper advertisements and in similar mediums. You can, however, market it via Facebook. If you’re in a trending location, connect with the area’s providers. Offer something unique, and prioritize customer incentives like price and product diversity.

How to keep customers coming back

You’ll attract customers by creating an enticing buying space. Reduce the clutter, and don’t put out too much merchandise. A well-displayed, colorful kiosk will attract and retain customers.

STEP 9: Create your business website

After defining your brand and creating your logo the next step is to create a website for your business .

While creating a website is an essential step, some may fear that it’s out of their reach because they don’t have any website-building experience. While this may have been a reasonable fear back in 2015, web technology has seen huge advancements in the past few years that makes the lives of small business owners much simpler.

Here are the main reasons why you shouldn’t delay building your website:

  • All legitimate businesses have websites - full stop. The size or industry of your business does not matter when it comes to getting your business online.
  • Social media accounts like Facebook pages or LinkedIn business profiles are not a replacement for a business website that you own.
  • Website builder tools like the GoDaddy Website Builder have made creating a basic website extremely simple. You don’t need to hire a web developer or designer to create a website that you can be proud of.

Recommended : Get started today using our recommended website builder or check out our review of the Best Website Builders .

Other popular website builders are: WordPress , WIX , Weebly , Squarespace , and Shopify .

STEP 10: Set up your business phone system

Getting a phone set up for your business is one of the best ways to help keep your personal life and business life separate and private. That’s not the only benefit; it also helps you make your business more automated, gives your business legitimacy, and makes it easier for potential customers to find and contact you.

There are many services available to entrepreneurs who want to set up a business phone system. We’ve reviewed the top companies and rated them based on price, features, and ease of use. Check out our review of the Best Business Phone Systems 2023 to find the best phone service for your small business.

Recommended Business Phone Service: is our top choice for small business phone numbers because of all the features it offers for small businesses and it's fair pricing.

TRUiC's Startup Podcast

Welcome to the Startup Savant podcast , where we interview real startup founders at every stage of the entrepreneurial journey, from launch to scale.

Is this Business Right For You?

The kiosk business is perfect for self-motivated individuals. Often small, flexible, and varied, kiosks are some of today’s leading shopping areas for passerby. A kiosk owner has an entrepreneurial mindset, and they’re willing to sell niche products for long periods of time. Individuals who love networking are often fantastic kiosk owners, and they’re incredibly capable when marketing, promotion, and expansion are considered.

Want to know if you are cut out to be an entrepreneur?

Take our Entrepreneurship Quiz to find out!

Entrepreneurship Quiz

What happens during a typical day at a kiosk business?

A kiosk business owner will mostly sell items from their kiosk. When they’re not directly involved in selling, however, they’re researching market potential, pricing alternatives, product variety and new opportunities. Much of a kiosk owner’s savvy as a businessperson relies on their ability to target professional opportunities. Once these responsibilities have been covered, other activities include kiosk cleaning, maintenance and small upkeep tasks.

What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful kiosk business?

Having an eye for high-quality products helps. A kiosk owner should understand what buyers want. They should also be capable of understanding an environment’s marketability. To build a successful kiosk business, make sure you're not competing with big-box retailers. As an independent retailer, you’ll never beat WalMart in terms of price.

What is the growth potential for a kiosk business?

A kiosk business is likely to stay local. Some kiosk businesses eventually make enough money to open a storefront. In fact, a lot of successful small business owners began as kiosk business owners. If a kiosk business has high-quality products, they may eventually expand into a kiosk network. If a business owner is smart about their marketing, management and finances, they can generate a lot of revenue by providing products and services in multiple locations.

TRUiC's YouTube Channel

For fun informative videos about starting a business visit the TRUiC YouTube Channel or subscribe to view later.

Take the Next Step

Find a business mentor.

One of the greatest resources an entrepreneur can have is quality mentorship. As you start planning your business, connect with a free business resource near you to get the help you need.

Having a support network in place to turn to during tough times is a major factor of success for new business owners.

Learn from other business owners

Want to learn more about starting a business from entrepreneurs themselves? Visit Startup Savant’s startup founder series to gain entrepreneurial insights, lessons, and advice from founders themselves.

Resources to Help Women in Business

There are many resources out there specifically for women entrepreneurs. We’ve gathered necessary and useful information to help you succeed both professionally and personally:

If you’re a woman looking for some guidance in entrepreneurship, check out this great new series Women in Business created by the women of our partner Startup Savant.

What are some insider tips for jump starting a kiosk business?

Don’t be afraid to change location. Even if your product is good, it might not be suitable for an environment once it changes. If you decide to upscale customers, consider their current shopping locations. Find out how to entire adjacent markets, and make sure your branding is effective. Your product displays should have rhyme and reason, making customers want to stop and shop.

How and when to build a team

A kiosk business is relatively easy to run. For this reason, a kiosk can be controlled by a single operator. If you wish to expand your kiosk business, consider hiring one to two associates. These associates can help sell goods, maintain the register assist with maintenance, help source products, and clean the kiosk. Over time, however, you’re better off keeping the staff small. There isn’t much room in a kiosk, and a cluttered work environment can, unsurprisingly, reduce overall sales.

Useful Links

Industry opportunities.

  • American Kiosk Management
  • Movie Rental Kiosk
  • Phone Repair Kiosk
  • Device Repair Kiosk

Real World Examples

  • Kodak Photo Kiosks
  • Key Me (key copy kiosk)
  • Sunglass Hut

Further Reading

  • 11 most profitable mall kiosk ideas
  • How to rent a kiosk in a mall
  • How to start a Kiosk Business
  • How to start a Kiosk Business (different article)
  • 5 secret best mall kiosk business idea

Have a Question? Leave a Comment!

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What Is a Kiosk? A Guide to Digital Kiosks in 2023

  • Author: Maria Ashfaq
  • Published: April 14, 2023

In this blog: learn all that you need to know about kiosks; from answering, “What is a kiosk machine?” to the future of digital kiosks, this blog covers it all.

learn to know what a kiosk is

What is a Kiosk?

A kiosk is an innovative and versatile solution for businesses and organizations looking to engage with customers in new and exciting ways. It is a stand-alone booth that can be built and utilized for various purposes in high-traffic areas such as malls, airports, and train stations.

Variants of Kiosks

There are various variants of kiosks and you can choose amongst them depending on your needs. The five most common variants of kiosks are as follows:

  • Sim Dispensing Kiosks
  • Cash & Check Deposit Kiosks
  • Card Issuance Kiosks
  • Quick Service Restaurant Kiosks
  • Self Checkout Kiosks

From delivering highly relevant information to communicating marketing messages and empowering customers to help themselves, these kiosks can serve multiple purposes. To learn more about the variants of kiosks, read Wavetec’s related blog on “5 Common Types of Self Service Kiosks in 2023”

Features of Digital Kiosks

Digital kiosks offer a range of useful features including the following:

1. Touch Screen Feature

Interactive self service kiosk

Customers can interact with digital kiosks using touch screens. This feature enables customers and service providers to engage, enabling customers to receive the services or information they want.

2. Payment Process Feature

Pay via digital kiosks

Customers often need to make payments to purchase goods and services through self-service. Henceforth, digital kiosks have a payment process feature that enables customers to pay via the kiosk.

3. Intuitive User Interface

intuitive interface of kiosks

Users navigate through the software to complete tasks: an intuitive user interface ensures that customers find what they want easily.

4. Printer Feature

Print tickets or reciepts

The customers may need to print out a ticket or a receipt from the kiosk. That’s when the printer feature comes in handy; it enables the customers to generate a hard copy of their ticket or receipt.

5. Customizable

kiosks can be customized

Kiosks are fully customizable; whether it’s the kiosk display, size, or outward appearance, they can be modified to cater to businesses’ specific needs as determined by the designated location and branding needs.

Additionally, the kiosks’ software is also customizable; it can be tailored to serve various purposes and cater to different business needs.

Benefits of Kiosks

Kiosks are crucial in today’s fast-paced world and they play a significant role across various industries due to the range of benefits they offer. Here is a comprehensive overview of these benefits:

1. Improved Customer Experience

Kiosks provide customers with a self-service option that can reduce wait times, provide convenience, and enable faster transactions, offering a seamless customer experience to visitors.

These kiosks minimize human interaction which enhances the experiences for people who avoid human interaction. Most importantly, they can also improve accessibility for customers with disabilities.

2. Increased Customer Engagement

Interactive kiosks offer engaging experiences that encourage users to actively participate and interact with the kiosk’s interface. Offering such interactive experiences help businesses and organizations improve customer satisfaction and thus, boost sales.

3. Enhanced Marketing

Promotional kiosks display products, provide information, and offer special promotions, which can help increase the brand’s reach and increase sales.

4. Manage Customer Flow

Kiosks are often located in high-traffic areas. This is because kiosks are a powerful tool for managing customer flow. With their self-service options, queuing management, real-time updates, appointment scheduling , and feedback collection, kiosks can help reduce wait times, improve efficiency, and enhance customer experience.

5. Improved Data Collection

Digital kiosks can collect valuable data on user behavior, preferences, and needs. This data can be utilized to draw insights and thus, improve the overall performance and efficiency of the service providers.

6. Save Cost

While deploying a kiosk may be expensive, the smart solution helps businesses save costs in the long term. By reducing labor costs, increasing efficiency, and improving accuracy, kiosks can help businesses save money.

Importance of Kiosks in 2023

In today’s fast-paced world, kiosks have become an increasingly important technology for businesses and organizations looking to keep up with changing customer needs and preferences. Kiosks offer a quick and convenient way for customers to access information, complete transactions, and obtain services, all while reducing wait times and improving efficiency.

As we move further into 2023, kiosks will continue to play a crucial role in enhancing customer experience and enabling businesses to stay competitive in a rapidly changing market.

Request A Kiosk Demo Now!

Top Industries Harnessing the Power of Digital Kiosks

Industries using digital kiosks

Kiosks are an essential tool for customer-facing industries seeking to improve operational and administrative efficiency. Here is how some of these industries are utilizing digital kiosks:

Retail businesses have been quick to adopt kiosks to enhance the customer experience and streamline operations. Retail businesses are using kiosks for a range of purposes, from providing product information and recommendations, to offering self-checkout options and personalized promotions.

By leveraging the power of digital kiosks, retailers can create a more engaging and efficient shopping experience for customers, while also driving sales and improving customer loyalty.

Take the example of Consum , a Wavetec client that recently purchased take-a-ticket kiosks to improve their customer service. These kiosks allow customers to take a number and wait for their turn without having to physically stand in line, freeing them up to browse the store or complete other tasks.

The banking industry has also embraced the use of digital kiosks as a way to enhance customer experience and optimize service delivery. This technology is particularly useful during peak periods when banks are crowded and customer wait times can be long.

By leveraging the power of digital banking kiosks , banks can offer a more personalized and efficient service, improve customer satisfaction, and thus, increase sales.

Banorte recently purchased kiosks as part of Wavetec’s customer flow management solution. These kiosks allow customers to check in and be placed in a virtual queue, eliminating the need to wait in long lines.

Digital kiosks have become an increasingly popular solution in the airline sector. Kiosks allow customers to check in, print their boarding passes, and tag their bags, all from a single convenient location at airports. This not only speeds up the check-in process but also eliminates the need for customers to interact with airline staff, reducing waiting times and improving efficiency.

From providing self-service check-in and bag drop options to offering personalized recommendations and promotions, touch screen kiosks can help airlines and airports create a more efficient and interactive experience for travelers.

Wavetec’s queuing solution for Delta Airlines entailed ticket dispensing self-service kiosks that enabled customers to generate tickets and wait for their turns. This enabled Delta Airlines to streamline customer flow and minimize waiting time.

The public sector has also recognized the value of digital kiosks in enhancing service delivery and improving customer experience. Kiosks at public service centers enable customers to schedule appointments, receive tickets, and track their place in the queue and wait times, all from a self-service kiosk.

This simplifies the process for customers and reduces the staff’s workload, allowing them to focus on other tasks. This technology has been particularly useful during the pandemic, as it allows for contactless service delivery and reduces the need for customers to physically interact with staff.

Various public service centers are now using digital kiosks to improve service delivery, optimize operations, and enhance the customer experience. Look at the example of the Ministry of Justice in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia . They have partnered with Wavetec and deployed ticket-dispensing self-service kiosks as part of their queuing solution. It has enabled visitors to generate their own tickets and thus, make queue management much easier.

By leveraging the power of digital kiosks, the public sector can create a more efficient, convenient, and engaging service experience for customers, while saving the overhead costs required to maintain high-quality standards of services.

5. Healthcare

Digital kiosks are becoming increasingly popular in the healthcare sector as a way to improve patient experience and streamline processes. Hospitals and clinics can use kiosks to provide patients with self-service check-in and appointment scheduling, access to medical records, and payment options.

This not only reduces wait times and frees up staff, but also improves patient satisfaction. Kiosks can also be used for education and communication purposes, providing patients with information on common medical conditions, treatment options, and healthy living.

Additionally, pharmacies can use kiosks for prescription dispensing and refills, allowing patients to easily and efficiently receive their medication. Overall, the use of digital kiosks in healthcare has the potential to improve efficiency, patient satisfaction, and communication in the industry.

Nyaho Medical Company, a leading healthcare provider in Ghana, has implemented Wavetec’s Patients Flow Management System. As a part of this solution, the company has installed ticket dispensing self service kiosks to enable patients to check in quickly and easily obtain queue numbers upon arrival. This has not only reduced waiting times but also improved patient satisfaction by providing a more seamless and efficient experience.

Considerations for Selecting a Digital Kiosk

There are several types of kiosks available, each consisting of unique features and serving a distinct function. Here are factors that you must consider while choosing a digital kiosk:

The purpose and the ultimate goal of the kiosk play a key role in determining the type of kiosk you need. For example, if the goal is to make navigation easier for visitors, then you need to deploy wayfinding kiosks. However, if the goal is to minimize human interaction while enabling customers to purchase, then vending machines may be the right choice.

2. Location

It is crucial to consider the location of the kiosks before selecting a kiosk; develop an understanding of the space and the issues faced by the people in that location. For example, if you are looking for kiosks at the entrance of the service center, you can either deploy ticket dispensers or wayfinding kiosks, depending upon what the pain point of the visitors in that location is.

3. Security

Kiosks can store sensitive data, including customer information and financial transactions, making them a potential target for hackers and other cybercriminals. This makes customers’ security a primary concern. Therefore, it is crucial for businesses to select solution providers that focus on high-security standards. Wavetec kiosks, for instance, are equipped with advanced security features such as encrypted data transmission, password-protected access, and remote monitoring capabilities.

4. Maintenance and Support

Like any other hardware and software solution, digital kiosks are also highly technical and complex. This makes it essential for the solution provider to also offer good after-sales maintenance and support services, enabling businesses to maximize the potential utility of the digital kiosks.

5. Integration with Existing Systems

Kiosks such as ticket dispensers or cash deposit machine need to be integrated with other existing systems to ensure that the data is well-managed and organized. A kiosk that integrates seamlessly with your existing systems and software can save you time, effort, and money. If the kiosk is not integrated with the rest of the system, it will essentially be useless – it will fail to streamline processes and organize long queues. Therefore, businesses must consider how well-integrated the kiosk is. Ideally, the kiosk must also be integrated with a dashboard that gathers and reports real-time data.

Future of Digital Kiosks

The future of digital kiosks is expected to be even more innovative and advanced. With the ongoing advancements in technology, digital kiosks are likely to become more interactive and intuitive, with features such as voice recognition, artificial intelligence, and augmented reality. The integration of these technologies will allow for a more personalized and efficient user experience.

Additionally, the use of biometric authentication is likely to become more widespread, ensuring a higher level of security and convenience for users. The integration of mobile devices with kiosks is also expected to increase, allowing users to interact with kiosks through their smartphones.

The use of data analytics and real-time reporting will become more prevalent, allowing businesses to make more informed decisions based on user behavior and preferences. Overall, the future of digital kiosks looks very promising and will continue to play a significant role in improving customer experiences across a wide range of industries.

Key Takeaway

Wavetec Case Study Banque Saudi Fransi Self Service Ticketing Kiosk Image

Digital kiosks are rapidly becoming an essential tool for businesses across various industries to enhance customer experiences, increase efficiency, and drive revenue growth. With the advancements in technology, digital kiosks are becoming more intelligent, interactive, and user-friendly, providing businesses with a competitive edge in today’s fast-paced world.

If you’re looking to implement digital kiosks into your business, book a free demo with Wavetec now!

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What is a Kiosk – Definition, Types, Pros, Cons & Examples

Organizations use different types of marketing strategies for their products and services. They install banners and billboards in crowded places and use social media platforms to attract the attention of people. The purpose is to send the message and increase the market share of a product/service.

The kiosk is a type of direct marketing techniques that businesses use. Today we’ll discuss what a kiosk is, how it works, its pros/cons, and examples.

Table of Contents

What is Kiosk ?

A kiosk refers to a small and stand-alone booth-like structure that presents information or provides a service or other marketing purposes. Usually, few persons can move the kiosk and install it at a public and crowded spot to attract the attention of people. 

Businesses install kiosk at the crowded areas like shop malls, busy streets, or outside of a retail shop. It may be digital and non-digital. Some businesses set up non-digital kiosks near aisles and stairs to boost up sales and promotion of their business. Digital kiosks provide the service of sale, banking, and theater information. 

Unmanned kiosks are at the pharmacies, healthcare screening points, retail checkouts, and check-in points in hotels. They promote self-service capabilities among customers. Kiosks don’t always use the authoritative and supervising tone. They also complement the current and existing service that the seller is offering.

For instance, the provincial Canadian government wants the public to update their personal information like health cards and driving licenses by using the electronic kiosk. They would be able to self-serve them without anyone’s assistance and waiting at the lines in provincial ministry. 

Kiosks are temporary and for the short term and it is a low-cost marketing strategy. Shopping malls charge a small rent for placing the kiosks. It’s a great marketing strategy for new businesses and entrepreneurs without spending a lot of money on it. Electronic kiosks are more convenient and they provide a better customer experience. 

Interactive Kiosk Vs Non-Interactive Kiosk

Interactive kiosks are becoming more and more significant in the modern digital environment. They present information about the product/service, promote businesses, convince people to self-serve them by paying bills and sell products like tickets directly to the customers.

Non-interactive kiosks are a type of physical booth and a customer service person to execute the transaction. They’re at the airports, shopping malls, subways, and stairs. People still use non-interactive kiosks for a variety of purposes.

Types of Kiosk Machines with Examples

Some of the main types of kiosks are as follows;

Information Kiosks

As the name implies, information kiosks are to provide clear, concise, and accurate information about the product/service to the audience. It’s important to provide quality information so that the customers would have a better experience. The user-interface and layout should be attractive and intuitive.

Some of the places of information kiosks are government institutes, healthcare organizations, museums, shopping malls, and art and other exhibitions.

Self-Service Kiosks

Self-service kiosks are machines that allow users to perform certain tasks without anyone’s assistance. The company’s employees used to perform those tasks before.

Online queue system to answer your questions, car rental kiosks, automated check-in points, self-ordering machines, self-ticketing machines, vending machines, point-of-sale terminal, and self-service payment terminals are some of the common examples of self-service kiosks.

Digital Signage

Digital signage is an advertisement screen that promotes the product/service of the owners’ business. The purpose of the digital screen is to attract the attention of the audience. It displays simple and interactive ads to engage with the audience.

Organizations use it to deliver a personalized message to the audience, present statistical data by highlighting main figures and sharing the internet and information with others.

Wayfinding Kiosk

Wayfinding kiosk helps people to find the geographic location of the nearby projects and provides all probable routes from point A to B. It uses various technologies like IoT (internet of things), wireless networks, GPS, satellite, and other related tech devices. It allows personalized navigation services to its users both indoors of the big building and outdoors.

Internet Kiosks

Internet kiosks offer solutions to access the internet and they use internet access to provide a solution. Its services can either be free or paid. The free service would require you to provide them your personal information for marketing purposes.

Advantages of Kiosk s

Following are the advantages of using kiosks for marketing your business and facilitate customers.

Improve Customer Buying Experience

Kiosks help customers to get clear information about the product/service of the company. If they need more information about the price, features, and other facilities of the product/service, they can ask them at the counter. It saves the time of customers and provides them the required information on time. When customers have a better experience, it increases their loyalty among them.

Increase Customer Base

Kiosk helps businesses, retailers, and sellers to reach a wide range of customers without investing a lot of capital in it. The expansion of the customer database helps to increase sales, and more sales would increase the company’s revenue. In other words, the kiosk is a cost effective marketing tool to reach more customers and increase sales.

Reduces Cost of the Business

The kiosk is an economic method of advertising and marketing your businesses, it reduces the cost of your business. It allows you to deliver the marketing message without spending a lot of resources so that you could focus on the sales team to increase the conversion rate. The cost you saved from marketing by using the kiosks, you could spend on customer service and retail section. Better customer service decreases the management cost.

Increase Efficiency

The interactive kiosks increase customers’ engagement and provide a better customer experience. It would comprise of various options like purchasing gifts, managing gift cars, sending job application, and submitting credit card application. Such kiosks allow performing different tasks at one time and increasing the customers’ satisfaction level.

Kiosk a Source of Marketing and Advertising

The electronic and digital kiosks allow you to run ads and attract the attention of ordinary walkers and passers. It would serve two important functions, first, it would promote your product/service whatever you’re selling. Along with selling, you’re marketing your brand and main business.

Disadvantages of Kiosk s

Below are the disadvantages of using a kiosk machine for your business marketing.

Initial Cost

The initial cost of the kiosk comprises the purchase of kiosk machines and the rent cost of the place where you would install it. You’re going to need software to run the advertisement in the loop, and buying it would be costly. When you add them up together, it becomes a significant amount of money. In another world, an electronic kiosk machine is effective and engaging, but the initial cost is high.

Content Rigidness

The kiosk machines don’t allow you to update the content anytime whenever you want like a live feed. You have to follow a certain procedure of uploading the content, putting it in a loop, and then you’ll be able to run on the machine.

Customer Support

Problems are bound to happen when you’re running. If the kiosk machine stops running the ads or it starts showing different lights. The whole market campaign and the promotion of your business would be in jeopardy, you’ll be all alone. You can’t call the customer services to fix the problem immediately.

The software and the application you run on a kiosk machine don’t monitor the performance of the ad, location, and the health of its business. Kiosk solution only helps them to configure it with android and apple devices.

Industries Using Kiosks

You can find kiosk machines almost in every industry. Here is the list of industries using kiosk but not limited to;

Kiosks are becoming popular in the financial and banking industry. Banks install self-servicing kiosks at their branches across the country worldwide. It allows people to carry out the transaction without anyone’s assistance. Customers could also print out certain documents and ask for special assistance to the machine. ATM is a very good example of a kiosk in the banks and financial institutions.


Hotels and restaurants also install kiosks at different points in their establishment. It helps them to guide visitors from other countries. They would have a better customer experience. The focus of the hospitality industry is to provide the customer with a better experience. The self-serving kiosks are the best way to do it. It performs the following functions at the hotels and restaurants;

  • Online booking/order of services like rental cars,
  • Self-service of check-in and check-out,
  • Providing information about the hotel’s building and about the city,

Fast Food Restaurants

Hotels and restaurants install kiosks digital screens to provide information about the menu. According to some studies, customers hate standing in lines and starving customers hate it even more. The self-serving digital menu board speeds up the process and improves the customers’ experience.

According to another study, people prefer a restaurant based on the self-serving kiosk machine board menu. It means installing such machines provides you a competitive edge in the market.

Some retailers have installed interactive terminals for sharing informing, buying, selling, and communicating with the employees. Some of their main functions at the retail store are;

  • Collecting information,
  • Providing information about the maps,
  • Filtering the whole shopping mall based on the customers’ choice of food, clothing, etc.
  • Providing information about special discount offers,

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Ahsan Ali Shaw

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Self Service Kiosks

What Is a Kiosk? (and Why Are They so Important?)


What is a kiosk? It might seem like a simple question, but it’s one that we hear all of the time.

Simply put, a kiosk is a self-service machine that empowers users to complete tasks at their convenience and pace. What a kiosk brings to the table is a fully immersive and interactive experience. Self service keeps the users’ interest and they absorb the information being conveyed.

Choosing a kiosk for your business

There are many important factors that come with a choosing a kiosk a business:

  • What is the look you’re going for?
  • What is the ultimate goal you want your kiosk to achieve?
  • Do you need just the kiosk hardware or do you need software to help run the kiosk ?

There are many things important things to consider when deciding to purchase a kiosk solution for your organization.

At Advanced Kiosks, our very knowledgeable sales team will help you throughout the entire buying experience.  We’ve been in business for over 15 years and sold kiosks to industries of all stripes. We have the experience to provide turnkey solutions for any project you might have in mind.

What will a kiosk be used for in my organization?


There are endless tasks for kiosks in a workplace setting. For example, a church may come in looking for a kiosk to help with Sunday school  child check-in.   Without a kiosk, most are keeping track of children and their guardians with paper and pen.  Our kiosks offer a secure tamper-proof system and a digital activity log. Additionally, a computer kiosk can print stickers and receipts and offer real time updates to double check attendance.

Another great example of workplace kiosks in action comes from companies looking for self service HR kiosk  for their employees to use in the completion of human resources tasks.

hr kiosk

Regardless of business size, many organizations face the problem of having a limited human resources staff who must process HR needs and paperwork for many other employees. With a kiosk, a short staffed HR team streamlines red tape tasks that take up precious time.

At an HR kiosk station, employees can print pay stubs or forms. Add a scanner for ID verification (birth certificates, driver’s license, Social Security cards etc.) and securely transmit scanned items. In addition, these stations can provide company information, policies, training modules, and institutional forms all at the touch of a button .

Who can benefit from a kiosk?

Most small business, large corporations, hospitals, churches, and many other different organizations can greatly benefit from implementing a kiosk, or multiple kiosks.  A kiosk is not the right fit for everyone and our sales representatives can assess your project needs. Tell us what you want to do, and we can help you figure out the best course of action with the right kiosk, the perfect software, and the easy installation.

So, what is a kiosk? With the right vision and implementation, a kiosk is just the thing to amplify the work of your organization.

What is a kiosk and why are they so important? Millions of people use interactive kiosks every day for many reasons, so there are a number of answers to this question. Almost every business or organization can benefit in some way from self service kiosks. Weather it is to increase efficiency, boost sales or just share information about products and services, the rewards are tangible. Information on-demand is what users expect these days and the adoption of interactive kiosks is a win for managers, administrators, IT staff and end users alike.

Prince William County Self Service Kiosk Case Study


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Kiosks Definition:

A small, enclosed stand from which merchandise is sold, often placed in the common area of a shopping center or public concourse

Kiosks have become familiar sights in American malls, selling everything from inexpensive gift items to pricey jewelry and artwork. They make mall space affordable for the small-business owner, and mall operators benefit from extra rent and a wider variety of merchandise.

Kiosks have contributed to one of the hottest trends in retailing--temporary tenants. Some of these are seasonal businesses that only need to be open for a limited time. For example, a specialty candy shop may open just before Christmas, remain open through Valentine's Day, Easter and Mother's Day, then close for the remainder of the year. But many other kiosk operators can run their businesses year round, selling anything from hot dogs to sunglasses, from men's ties to T-shirts.

The most popular site for a temporary operation is a busy mall, but many operators are also finding success in airports and other transportation facilities, at sporting events, and at other creative venues limited only by their imagination and ability to strike a deal with the property manager.

For many entrepreneurs who dream of breaking into retail, opening a shop is cost-prohibitive--but a kiosk can be a low-cost profitable possibility. You might also want to consider using a kiosk to test your product in a retail setting before making the larger investment in a traditional store. Styles range from simple to elaborate; whatever you choose, be sure it's attractive, well lit and functional.

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A business model in which a distributor network is needed to build the business. Usually such businesses are also multilevel marketing in nature in that payouts occur at more than one level.

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