While retail stores in general are seeing an increase in impulse buying, kiosks by nature depend almost entirely on impulse sales. Sure, hungry customers may approach your kiosk on their own. But you want them to buy more. And those passersby who don’t realize they’re hungry? You want them to stop and buy, too.
Add-ons and unplanned purchases can make a considerable difference in your revenue and profits. So, while planning the main menu or product range for your food kiosk, be sure you pay equal attention to choosing and promoting impulse items. How? Appeal to customers' senses.
Experienced retailers know that giving customers a multi-sensory experience sells more product. Merchandising that goes beyond the usual visual presentation engages customers in more ways, and that makes them more likely to step closer and buy. While sensory sales techniques don’t work for all stores or products, food kiosks were made for this merchandising technique.
Don’t discount the visual
Your kiosk itself has to have a “tasty” design. And you need well-branded signage that potential customers can see from a distance. As they get within range, you can draw them irresistibly to your kiosk with additional sensory cues. These cues psychologically reinforce your customer’s decision to give in to their impulses, approach your food kiosk, and treat themselves to something delicious.
The smell of food is as important as its appearance. So if you’re preparing food at your kiosk, you’ve got it made. And if you can add sound – popping popcorn, sizzling burgers – you’re really in luck.
If you sell only pre-packaged items, open a bag of fragrant nuts or candies and place them into a small dish by your cash register for customers to sniff as they’re preparing to pay. Be sure to have the same products at hand for grab-and-go purchase.
And then, there’s taste
Appealing presentation and delicious smells will draw impulse eaters to your kiosk, but how do you get them to spend more? Appeal to their sense of taste, with samples. Cut up small bites or use shot-size sample cups. Use signage and extend a personal invitation to test them. “You have to try this amazing new cherry brownie (or smoothie)!”
Follow the cardinal rules of impulse merchandising
- Impulse items should be small and inexpensive, so they’re “easy” to buy.
- Place them within reach of your cash register. Or strategically place them next to complementary best-selling items.
- Use special pricing, such as 2-for-1, to appeal to your customer’s desire for value.
- As with sampling, verbally offer add-ons and up-sells: “Would you like a salad (or fries, or this new brownie) with that?” Or, “You think that’s good, you should try it with avocado and bacon.”
Be sure your kiosk is designed to present the foods you sell to be as tempting as possible. Then remember that food is a necessity when we’re hungry, but there’s always room for a little extra treat – impulse buys that will boost your customer’s sense of gratification and boost your bottom line.