January 02, 2012

Industry experts predict 2012 trends

Industry experts predict 2012 trends from Kioskmarketplace aticle

We've recently taken a look back at the year that's coming to a close, with our coverage of notable kiosk deployments of 2011. Now it's time to look forward, to take stock of what the new year could hold for the kiosk and self-service industries.

KioskMarketplace has asked industry leaders to take the pulse of self-service and predict what will be the major trends for the industry in the coming year.

What will 2012 bring? Let's take a look:

Retailers will embrace kiosks and tablets

With a strong Christmas season in their pockets, and an improving economy, major retailers will invest more heavily than ever in technology, according to Craig Keefner of KIOSK Information Systems.

Tablet usage will accelerate as more retailers give them to employees to perform on-the-floor product lookup and transactions. Their low cost will also make them a great kiosk option, and Keefner expects mobiles and handhelds to find a new purpose as companion remote controls for large-format interactive displays.

Ron Bowers of Frank Mayer & Associates, agreed with Keefner's predictions, saying that the biggest overriding trend of 2012 will be the retail industry's acceptance of kiosk solutions into the consumer experience mix.

"Mobile is the conduit that transcends all channels and allows the consumer the convenience and control they want to influence their customer experience at home, on the road and into the decision process," he said.

However, don't count out brick-and-mortar store — the consumer wants to continue the shopping experience, and self-service solutions enchance those experiences.

"They'll be designed to engage the consumer with convenience, information and truly useful experiences such as NFC in-store checkout at the shelf or assisted by the kiosk," Bowers said. Retailers will be rewarding customers for their loyalty and will continue to bring them back to the store with a convergent experience that is not just as good as the retailers' website experience but must surpass it.

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Posted by CraigKeefner at January 2, 2012 03:24 PM