The Complete Kiosk Answer

Did you know that as well as the world's leading
Public Browser Interface NetShift we produce a range of utilities to keep your kiosk running more reliably? And that they are free to NetShift users?
Check them out

The main utility is AKA (Automated Kiosk Attendant) which was originally developed to keep Win 95 & NT PC based Public Access Kiosks optimized for 24/7 operation. AKA (PBI version) has been supplied as a free NetShift utility to be run with NetShift PBI.
Now an AKA OSM version for other applications has been released! It is offered as a separate product. For more AKA information visit AKA features!

We also provide the best Virtual Keyboard System: Keyon. Make your kiosk touch friendly and market it with your own customised Keyon keyboards!

Download the latest NetShift PBI eval.
Download AKA PBI utility.
Download AKA OSM eval.
Download Keyon Virtual Keyboard System eval.

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"Clicks and mortar" and "convergence" are the newest catch phrases for Internet commerce.

They generally describe land-based retailers' efforts to straddle their stores and the web, with seamless service.

But it actually works both ways.

While Nordstrom, Tiffany, and Wal-Mart are invading the web, some e-tailers are striking out in the opposite direction.

Drugstore.com founder and former Microsoft executive Peter Neupert, after vowing to go it online and alone, has sold a chunk of his company to Rite Aid. Now customers can buy from his website and pick up at the stores.

Tandy, parent company of Radio Shack, says it has been approached by several Internet retailers that would like to set up kiosks in Radio Shack stores for deliveries and returns.

Theknot.com, an online bridal magazine and registry, is now selling paper catalogs featuring its wedding gowns, citing a need to promote its brand offline.

And rumors persist that Amazon.com is getting ready to set up in-store kiosks or build its own stores. The company refuses to comment.

The question now, say some analysts, isn't whether land-based retailers can afford to avoid the web. That has been answered with a resounding "no." It's whether e-tailers can afford to stay out of what many of them call "the real world."

"I think we are seeing the beginning of the end of pure Internet commerce," says James McQuivey of Forrester Research. "An Internet company may reach part of the population. But they will never have the same kind of long term relationship and sales volume as a company that has mastered all the sales channels."

"Everyone is starting to realize that some physical presence is necessary," says Ken Cassar of Jupiter Communications.

Some web entrepreneurs are now starting their businesses with that in mind.

Online bridal registry Della & James, for example, offers merchandise from land-based stores only. Brides can register and customers can purchase gifts from Crate & Barrel, Portico and Ceramica. But warehousing and shipping, often the bane of e-tailers, are left to the stores.

"We think that retailing should be about a customer and not a medium," says co-founder Jessica DiLullo. "You need to create an environment around them combining bricks-and-mortar retailers as well as the Internet."

Not everyone is declaring pure e-commerce dead.

Peter Neupert, despite his decision to hook up with Rite Aid, is still a believer.

"Health care is a unique business with its own problems," he says. "But I think there's lots of opportunity for a web business to be a success. I think Amazon.com has gotten big fast enough. There's no need for a store. Certainly financial services do not need a store."

Others say the problem with e-commerce isn't the web versus land; it's the e-tailers themselves, who haven't realized that their new medium requires some old-fashioned retailing strategies - like attractive displays and customer service.

Many e-commerce sites are still unappealing and difficult to navigate. And returns are often a problem.

"Many of these web companies do not have sufficient retailing experience in their management teams," says Shelly Taylor of Shelly Taylor & Associates. "These companies need to focus on improving the user experience on the web. Without that, no amount of convergence will save them."

Newsbit furnished by:

A: NetShift Software Ltd.
A: Hughenden Yard, Marlborough, Wilts,SN8 1LT, UK
T: +44 (0)1672 511 094
F: +44 (0)1672 511 078
E: [email protected]
W: www.netshift.com

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