If you open a kiosk business in a mall or a mobile unit such as a food cart, you can count yourself among many thousands of retail vendors across the country. Your venture will be a big success if you plan carefully. With so much to think about, it’s easy to overlook important details or make “rookie” mistakes. These tips will help you set up a vendor kiosk that drives sales right from the start.
1. Pick the right location. That means the right mall – one whose clientele matches the demographics of your target customer, but one that does not have another vendor like you. Location within the mall matters, too – if you can score a position near an in-line store with related products, you’ll automatically have more interested passersby.
2. Read the fine print. The perfect location has to work for you financially, so ask about all the costs involved for your mall. Beyond rent, that might be utility and marketing charges, a percentage of your sales or big-dollar special assessments.
3. Pick the right kiosk design. Used units or components will be cheaper, but pulling them together to create a unique look for yourself may be more trouble and expensive than starting with a custom design. Custom work ensures every detail works perfectly to fit your allotted space and make the most of that space from a sales standpoint. Your kiosk must be a visual stand-out, otherwise, it will fade into the background.
4. Design with customer experience in mind. Merchandise displays that include video, self-service touchscreens, and other interactive elements are proven to draw more customers.
5. Pick the right product or all your other efforts will be wasted. Whether you’re doing food or some other type of merchandise, offer some options, but not too many. Vendor kiosks work best when customers can quickly grasp what you have to offer. Think one or a few similar items, with deep selection in terms of colors, sizes, etc.
6. Learn from the mistakes of others, so you can avoid common kiosk project pitfalls.
Setting up an in-store kiosk?
There is another type of vendor kiosk – a self-contained display unit supplied by one of your vendors or key brands for use inside your store. If you own a grocery, hardware, or other multi-department store, these can really boost impulse sales. But to do that, this type of kiosk must be a good fit:
- Fit comfortably into your physical space – not overwhelmingly large or otherwise intrusive.
- Fit appealingly with your overall ambiance – does the product blend well with your merchandise mix? Is the kiosk designed to attract interest from your type of customers?
- Fit, as in location within your store. There are two ways to look at this. You can place a branded vendor kiosk among or adjacent to related merchandise, where customers will expect to find it. Or you can place it in an unrelated location that forces customers to take notice.
Setting up a vendor kiosk is like starting any other business. The more carefully you plan up front, the more likely you are to succeed.