Self-Service kiosks are continuing to grow in popularity as their application and convenient interface is further understood and recognized throughout a variety of industries. These self-service devices are placed in public settings to help customers and other individuals access digital content in a convenient and simplistic way. The market for self-service kiosks is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6.4% during 2021 to 2026 and it’s easy to see why. Besides being more efficient and profitable, they also shorten the queue length for customers and cut down on their time spent during each interaction. Not only do customers like to use self-service kiosks, 65% of them prefer using them over full-service options. A majority of businesses are now choosing to operate online, and users want to use an accessible and simplistic interface for transactions that take place in their day-to-day life. Growth in this market also benefits businesses by decreasing the need for a customer service team, allowing these companies to only keep employees on staff that are essential to the operation. In essence, self-service kiosks possess the ability to replace certain employees and lower the cost of running a business.
Growth in this market is largely attributed to North America’s adoption of these machines throughout the retail industry and government sectors, with the expectation that they will remain the driving force for growth to 2027. Europe has also seen an abundance of growth in this market, taking second in overall growth during the period. Much like North America, high levels of demand for kiosks in Europe has boosted the growth of touchscreen kiosk machines throughout the continent. This rise in demand is due to the various applications of these kiosks. In Europe, they are frequently used in places like airports, bus depots and various other transportation systems as well as grocery stores and even shopping arcades (shopping malls). Europe has also seen significant growth in interactive kiosk usage in relation to the banking sector and restaurant industry, both industries that were originally seen to have little potential in the adoption of the self-service kiosk market.
The introduction of COVID-19 had an unusual effect on the self-service industry, but it was one that may potentially prove to be a benefit in the long run. With the initial closing of airports, shopping malls and some restaurants there was a negative effect on the market, but this only occurred during the beginning stages of the lockdown. Once restrictions were lowered and various businesses reopened, the capabilities of these kiosks were looked upon in a newfound and more favorable light. With the introduction of mandatory social distancing regulations and other guidelines established to prevent the spread of COVID-19, self-service kiosks were looked at as the most promising way to reopen retail, transportation, and medical sectors among various others, all while adhering to the new norms set in place. In regard to the restaurant industry, mobile order and pay was originally thought to be of sole importance during the pandemic, but were unable to do everything. It is undoubtedly easy and safer for customers to place orders with their phones, but they are not able to offer any physical aspects of whatever goods or services they are purchasing. Kiosks, on the other hand, are able to print tags for order identification purposes and in some cases even allow you to pick up your order directly from the kiosk itself. Both phones and kiosks offer promising features but integrating the two into the same process so they work together would be an effective and promising solution to this specific problem.
Regardless of the initial stages of lockdown affecting the market, and the introduction of mobile order and pay on phones seeing growing success during the pandemic, the self-service kiosk market unquestionably has years of exceptional growth to look favorably towards. Not only are the uses for these kiosks endless, but the opportunities for them to be deployed are as well.