Kiosks - Kiosks Offer Benefits To Consumers And Retailers, Retail And Other Applications, ConsumerAcceptance Key To Wider Deployment
Web-enabled kiosks made their debut in 1996. One of the first retailers to make extensive use of instore kioskswas outdoor sports retailer REI (Recreation Equipment Inc.), which had kiosks in 58 stores by fall 2000. Its in-store kiosks provided customers with access to 78,000 products available on its Web site.At the end of 2000 kiosks were not widely deployed. Those that were installed seemed to attract little consumer interest. Forrester Research estimated that there were as many as 15,000 Internet kiosks internationally at the beginning of 2001, with some 100 companies planning to use them in retail settings. Forrester found that 80 percent of all major retailers planned to install kiosks by 2002.It was reported that kiosks were beginning to make an impact in the retail sector at the beginning of 2001, albeitslowly. Among the issues retail stores needed to consider were whether the kiosks would be self-service or assisted, where they should be located, and what products and services would be listed on the kiosks.Kiosk basics include a personal computer, a telephone connection, speakers, and a printer. By adding a credit-card reader and a touch screen, the kiosk becomes a sales channel. Additional features include scanners, whichcan be programmed to read a product's bar code and to provide additional information about the product.Typically, kiosks link to the company's Web site but not to the wider Internet. They often have customizedfeatures. Retail applications and benefits include being able to list a wider range of products without having toadd shelf space. Kiosks let customers find information on products and make comparisons. They can providegift registries and credit applications as well as speed up customer service and help sales associates close a sale.The content that a retailer puts on a kiosk can include more than a Web connection to the company's Web site.Kiosks are capable of carrying sound and video in addition to an Internet connection, thus making them potential multimedia displays. They have the capability of carrying multimedia presentations about thecompany, its stores, and special promotions and events.
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Consumers Welcome RFID Benefits
Retail customers appear open to the use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) as long as they are aware of it, according to a NRF and Capgemini study reissued before an RFID Workshop hosted by the Federal TradeCommission (FTC).Conducted for the National Retail Federation by Capgemini,
takes an in-depth look at consumers’ attitudes concerning the development and implementation of RFID.According to the study, consumer awareness of RFID is low at this time, with 77 percent saying they are notfamiliar with the technology. Among those who have heard of it, their perceptions are mixed, with most viewingRFID favorably (42%) or having no opinion (31%).“The study clearly speaks to the need for consumer education,” said Brad Callahan, Vice President and Leader of Capgemini’sNorth American Consumer Products, Retail and Distribution practice. “To fully realize the benefits and potential of RFID, companies must gain the trust of the consumer before RFID tags appear in their shopping carts.”RFID technology provides a variety of possible benefits to consumers. The potential benefits that were mostimportant to those surveyed include: Faster recovery of stolen items (71%), consumer savings stemming fromreduced operating costs (66%), improved security of prescription drugs (65%), faster/more reliable productrecalls (62%) and improved food safety/quality (62%).