What is ‘Kiosk’

A kiosk is a small, temporary, stand-alone booth used in high-traffic areas for marketing purposes. A kiosk is usually manned by one or two individuals who help attract attention to the booth to get new customers. Retail kiosks are frequently located in shopping malls or on busy city streets with significant foot traffic.

Explaining ‘Kiosk’

Because of their small, temporary natures, kiosks can be low-cost marketing strategies. They are also a good way to give a company a human face and to give customers the opportunity to ask questions about a product. For example, a local newspaper might set up a kiosk at a grocery store to sign up new subscribers. Similarly, credit card companies often set up kiosks in airports to seek new customers for a credit card that offers frequent-flyer miles.

Employment Kiosks

In addition to kiosks that sell retail products or services, some companies set up employment kiosks where job seekers can apply for work. This type of kiosk is especially commonplace in chain stores such as Walmart and Sears. Employment kiosks provide a way to quickly identify promising candidates, who will often receive an interview on the spot.

Food Service Kiosks

In an effort to streamline the process of taking food orders, some restaurants install self-service kiosks. Customers can follow interactive prompts to select their meal and customize their order. The kiosks usually accept credit or debit cards, eliminating the need for a human cashier. When restaurants use kiosks, the need for counter personnel is reduced, lowering payroll costs for the company.

Health Care Kiosks

The health care industry has also joined the movement toward automated kiosk services. Medical kiosks allow patients to check in for appointments, pay bills and update personal information. At some kiosks, patients can even take their own blood pressure or perform other non-invasive tests, and then relay the results to their doctors. In some cases, medical kiosks also offer educational videos about medical conditions and their treatments.

Further Reading

  • The World Bank's land of kiosks: Community driven development in Timor-Leste – [PDF]
  • On the philosophy of the new kiosk economics of everything – [PDF]
  • Standing at a kiosk: Effects of key size and spacing on touch screen numeric keypad performance and user preference – [PDF]
  • A MedlinePlus® kiosk promoting health literacy – [PDF]
  • Depth versus breadth in video rental kiosks – [PDF]
  • The mall as bazaar: How kiosks influence consumer shopping behaviour – [PDF]
  • The effect of technology readiness on customers' attitudes toward self-service technology and its adoption; the empirical study of US airline self-service check-in kiosks – [PDF]
  • What does financial literacy training teach us? – [PDF]
  • Gender differences in consumer evaluations of service quality: Self-service kiosks in retail – [PDF]
  • Travel information kiosks: an emerging communications channel for the tourism industry. – [PDF]