What type of store will provide the best showcase for your product? It depends on what you sell. There are several factors to consider — and you may already have a personal preference — but the key factor in deciding whether to choose a mall kiosk or a storefront is scale.
Let’s face it. Not every product will fit in a kiosk. You’re working with a small footprint, and it has to contain both displayed merchandise and backup inventory. Meanwhile, customers must be able to easily carry away their purchases, so heavy or more cumbersome items won’t work.
Think impulse purchases, not household or lifestyle staples. In general, the hottest sellers at mall kiosks are smaller items with a price point of about $30 or less. That might sound limiting, but there are a lot of product options within that range. Ideally, you want a narrow product line that offers deep selection choices. On the other hand, storefront retailers usually carry a broader range of merchandise, with less depth.
If you have a new product in mind but aren’t sure it will sell well, a kiosk is ideal to trial-run your product, cost-effectively.
It costs a lot more to open and run a retail storefront than a mall kiosk. You have to generate enough revenue to pay for all your operating expenses plus show a profit. You need to consider both sales volume and pricing. If your profit margin is too small, you cannot “make it up in volume.”
This is why it’s so important to prepare start-up and operating budgets that are as accurate as possible. These numbers will tell you what type and size of location makes the most financial sense. Bear in mind, though, that the right location for your product depends on more than simply choosing a mall kiosk or storefront.
Especially in a mall setting, you’re dependent on the volume of foot traffic and type of clientele drawn by the mall itself. Are they “your people”? Are there enough of them? Even the most popular mall kiosk will attract only a small percentage of passers-by. The mall you choose and your position within the mall can make or break your kiosk business.
Of course, it helps to have the right kiosk design. And to present whatever products you choose in the most irresistible way, no matter what type of store you choose. Again, think impulse buys. With a kiosk, you have only a few seconds to grab a shopper’s attention. In a store front, you have more opportunities to offer and promote impulse purchases.
Not sure which style of store will be better? You can always start out with a mall kiosk. Then, if your product takes off like a rocket, you can expand. You’ll still have the same choice. Many well-known entrepreneurs have started with one mall kiosk and gone on to create a retail empire. Who knows? Perhaps you’ll be next.