One might just call this the age of unattended retail.
Increasingly, retailers and other merchants are looking to give customers a more convenient and efficient experience by offering products and services via unattended kiosks. These machines mean that customers can interact with merchants more quickly, without having to waste time standing on a long line or dealing with a slow-moving employee.
According to research inside the Kiosk and Retail Report, a USA Technologies collaboration, by the time the next decade rolls around, the interactive kiosk industry market will be worth $1.073 billion. What’s more, the industry has already experienced some impressive growth, with the U.S. market growing from $533.37 million in 2013 to $716.97 million in 2016.
That increase is due, at least in part, to a 42 percent increase in American imports of interactive kiosks that took place during the same timeframe. Electric vehicle-charging kiosks also powered growth in the space, as those kiosks saw the largest growth of any type from 2013 to 2016, with the number of kiosks in the field growing by 153 percent.
Other key takeaways from the Kiosk and Retail Report, a USA Technologies collaboration, include:
- Food and beverage kiosks are the most common kind of kiosks in the U.S., accounting for a combined 35 percent of machines in the field as of 2016.
- Clothing retail lags behind when it comes to kiosk deployment. The market shipped only 21,000 machines in 2016, the smallest of any of the 11 markets PYMNTS studied.
- More growth in the vehicle-charging kiosk market is coming down the road. The space is projected to grow at a CAGR of 22.29 percent through 2019, the highest of the 11 markets studied.
Fixing Footwear Blues, the Unattended Way
Along with providing a speedier shopping experience, unattended retail kiosks can also reach consumers in venues brick-and-mortar stores simply can’t — like attracting a woman who just spent 10 hours standing in a convention center or four hours dancing in a club.
In a recent interview for the Kiosk and Retail Report, Dawn Dickson, founder of Florida-based unattended shoe startup Flat Out of Heels, described how the company is using kiosks at the right place and time to connect with customers, and how she has seen the unattended retail sector evolve since she founded the company in 2013.
“We want people to open up their minds to the fact that multiple products can be sold in vending machines, because we have really redesigned the machines,” Dickson said. “These new designs can be very attractive and engaging.”
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About the Report
The new Kiosk and Retail Report, a USA Technologies collaboration, is designed to give readers a better understanding of how these emerging technologies are shaping the unattended retail market. It focuses on the ever-evolving world of unattended retail, including those selling items and services consumers never thought they could get without help from a human, and includes market analysis and a look at how new payment technologies are changing the shopping experience.