Are In-Aisle Kiosks the Future for Brick-and-Mortar Grocery?

By Aila Staff

July 21, 2016

Grocery, once thought to be an unshakable pillar of brick-and-mortar retail, is seeing a huge shift in the way customers are shopping. With dozens of grocery delivery options available, and even Amazon joining the ranks with their new service, Amazon Fresh, it’s time for grocers who rely on traffic in their physical stores to rethink the in-store experience.

In-aisle kiosks are a strong solution for linking the convenience of online shopping with the still-prefered experience of holding, squeezing and smelling fresh groceries. Here’s why we’re calling in-aisle kiosks the future of bricks-and-mortar grocery:

Kiosks cut lines and encourage upsells

Long lines hurt sales. Research shows that one-third of customers will abandon a line if they’re waiting over five minutes, and studies have found that customer are 30% less likely to join a line of more than 10 people are currently waiting. A kiosk system allows shoppers to place deli, bakery or floral orders quickly and conveniently, regardless of the line at the counter, and gives them the flexibility to place the order and then return later to collect it.

A kiosk also encourages upsells by giving shoppers time to browse inventory without the pressure of a line behind them, and suggests complementary items, like candles and party decor for a birthday cake order, increasing cart size without the need for sales associate clienteling.

Kiosks greet and engage shoppers

Kiosks installed at store entry points are a starting point for shoppers to scan physical coupons, earn electronic ones, research product location and find special prices and sales. It’s a great way to immerse the shopper into an omnichannel experience from the time they enter the store while offering a natural starting point for customers to connect with loyalty programs, further deepening their relationship with the brand.

The experience is then enriched by kiosks throughout the store, placed in the aisles and at hot-spots for customer assistance, such as the wine or imports sections. Loyalty programs follow shoppers throughout the store, so they can gather coupons and discover department-specific deals as they shop. Questions are answered with the tap of a screen, and no one is stranded in the imports section wishing a sales associate would happen by to answer their questions.

Kiosks expand inventory for small stores

Even smaller grocers can leverage the power of in-aisles kiosks. The startup costs associated with in-aisle kiosk systems, compared to expanding physical store space and staff, are nominal. Plus, devices can easily link to Peapod or other delivery services that will allow small grocers to enhance their inventory by connecting shoppers to the larger, bulkier items that they need without having to stock them in-house.

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