Palmer Retail Solutions Blog

Mall Kiosk Products: Why Kiosks Are Poised to do Better Than Department Stores

Posted by Kathy Heil on Aug 8, 2017 5:12:20 PM

If you follow retail trends, you know department stores are suffering. Big names that have served generations are falling by the wayside. Their demise is causing upheaval at malls, which are in turn scrambling to reinvent themselves to retain – or resuscitate – shopper interest. What a great time to be a kiosk entrepreneur!

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Tags: Kiosk Products, Mall Kiosk

Mall Kiosk vs. Storefront: Which is Better for Your Product?

Posted by Kathy Heil on Jan 19, 2017 12:52:44 PM

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.

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Tags: kiosks, Mall Kiosk, kiosk tip

The Difference Between Kiosk Merchandising and In-Store Merchandising

Posted by Kathy Heil on Jul 19, 2016 3:21:41 PM

A kiosk business is really just a typical retail store in microcosm, right? Well, not quite. While there are many obvious similarities, kiosk merchandising and in-store merchandising have some notable differences, too.

Getting customers to come to you . . . nicely

Customers willingly walk into traditional stores. They are already familiar with the brand, or they are drawn in by enticing window merchandising or other advertising. You can occasionally run into pushy sales clerks inside, but by and large, those days are long gone. On the other hand, aggressive sales tactics among kiosk vendors are legendary. Even if it's just an old-school reputation, shoppers hate it. So do malls. And since you want shoppers and your mall to love you, you cannot work the hallways – verbally or physically – to rope people in.

Instead, hire and train employees carefully. Or take note of the following tips, if you are both entrepreneur and employee:

  • Make eye contact, and offer a friendly smile and hello
  • Ask questions and listen
  • Know your products in detail, to answer questions and make recommendations that help customers choose the products best for them. You can sell a lot more by being helpful than by exhorting people.

Letting your products “call out” to shoppers

Remember that storefront window? Your kiosk is essentially a 360o window. So the most effective kiosk merchandising draws customers from every angle. You don’t have to reach out and grab shoppers because your displays grab their attention for you. People will pause to browse as willingly as they enter a store.

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Tags: Mall Kiosk

The Benefits of Using Custom Kiosks

Posted by Kathy Heil on Jul 7, 2016 4:58:07 PM

  A well-designed kiosk stimulates interest from passersby, educates shoppers about your merchandise, and encourages sales. That’s a big responsibility for a tiny store. One of the toughest questions kiosk entrepreneurs grapple with is whether to go with ready-made or custom kiosk design. There is a lot at stake, so you want to make the right decision.

Some kiosk retailers (including some with very big names) have started out with off-the-shelf kiosks, only to switch later to custom design. That’s an expensive marketing lesson. In terms of branding and customer perception, it’s a lot like starting over. So let’s look at what custom kiosk design can do for you, right from the beginning.

Consider the big picture.

Any successful kiosk must make an exceptional first impression on shoppers. Without that, they will walk on by. So you need stylish, captivating design. But you need functionality, too – a place for everything, with emphasis on eye-catching product displays.

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Tags: Mall Kiosk

Don't Include These Elements in Your Mall Kiosk Design

Posted by Kathy Heil on Jun 29, 2016 3:49:24 PM

AdobeStock_86638177.jpegHow you design your mall kiosk determines how well your business will do. Bring together the right combination of elements, and you can succeed beyond your wildest dreams. Include the wrong elements, and you may fail. Mall kiosk design is as much an art as a science, so beware of the elemental mistakes outlined below.  

Don’t overdo it.

Mall kiosk design has to be pared down, given your limited footprint. Going big in any respect will be out of scale and unappealing to your prospective customers. Your kiosk should have a simplified structure that allows you to fully show off your products, from every viewing angle. 

The kiosk’s compact size can make the design more complicated, notes Jim Palmer, President of Palmer Retail Solutions. An experienced pro like Jim can help you determine whether you need an entirely customized design, or if you can take advantage of existing modular components to create a just-for-you design. Uniqueness and clear branding are essential to draw customer interest, but efficient functionality is essential for you and your employees.

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Tags: Mall Kiosk

5 Times You Need to Use a Kiosk Cart

Posted by Kathy Heil on Jun 16, 2016 11:21:33 AM

AdobeStock_95267939.jpegSometimes the perfect retail store is actually a kiosk cart. By now, anyone who follows retail trends (or frequents their local mall) knows these small establishments can be just as lucrative as a brick-and-mortar store. And they offer alternatives the bigger options do not. So is a kiosk cart right for you? Here are five times you should answer yes.

1. When cost is a factor.

Getting a kiosk cart business up and running costs a fraction of what you would spend to open a traditional store. Your initial investment is smaller and so is your risk, if for some reason you decide this isn’t for you.

You can buy, rent or lease carts and kiosks. Just remember that’s only one of many costs you’ll have to build into your budget. Can you price the merchandise you’ve selected so you make a profit?

2. When you’re anxious to get going.

From idea to “doors open,” you can be ready to sell with a kiosk cart in just a few weeks. Maybe even sooner. But the key to a grand Grand Opening and ongoing sales is preparation. Don’t be in such a hurry that you skimp on other important details of starting your business.

3. When you need flexibility.

Many carts and kiosks operate only seasonally. That’s not an option with a traditional type of store, where you’ll need a long-term lease. Malls offer short leases – by the month or for just one year – to accommodate temporary as well as year-round businesses. If one location isn’t doing well for you, you may be able to move to a new position within the same mall (or airport or other high-traffic place) later.

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Tags: Mall Kiosk

Incorporating Retail Kiosk Displays Into Your Merchandising

Posted by Kathy Heil on Jun 9, 2016 5:15:31 PM

AdobeStock_90891057.jpeg You’ve established the basics for your retail kiosk – where it will be located, the general size, and the overall shape. Now it’s time to choose the elements that will transform that space into a business and brand that are uniquely yours. Retail kiosk displays enable you to design a kiosk that attracts maximum attention from every direction. They show off your merchandise so it piques interest from afar and is easy to examine up close.

Presentation is everything.

Incorporating retail kiosk displays into your merchandising is particularly effective if you sell jewelry, unpackaged edibles, electronics, collectibles, or similar small or higher-priced items. Enclosed cases keep items secure and protect them from dust and fingerprints. No matter how popular the items you carry, though, you will sell more if you fill your cases with thoughtfully presented displays.

Traditional stores have departments or merchandise sections that are easily identified by the layout of store fixtures. Your kiosk has the same visual merchandising needs – making it easy for shoppers to see what they need or want – but you have far less space in which to perfect your look.

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Tags: Mall Kiosk

8 Things to Consider Before You Buy a Kiosk

Posted by Kathy Heil on May 27, 2016 4:38:23 PM

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Think you’d be good at retail? Know you’ll be great at retail? Either way, a kiosk is an excellent way to get started without making a huge investment. Kiosks may be retail in miniature, but they can be very lucrative businesses — if you plan carefully and avoid making rookie mistakes. Before you decide to buy a kiosk, there are many things you’ll need to consider about your future business.

1. What’s your budget?

You’ll need money to:

  • Buy a kiosk, or make lease payments
  • Customize your kiosk
  • Purchase inventory
  • Cover ongoing operations costs

2. Do you want a permanent, year-round location?

You can choose a location in a mall, in a commercial office building, on the street, or in some other public area such as the airport. You can also buy a kiosk or food cart to use as a mobile unit or a seasonal business. Which is right for you depends on what you plan to sell, and where you’ll find the most target customers.  

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Tags: Mall Kiosk

Mall Kiosk Manufacturers: How to Pick the Right One

Posted by Kathy Heil on May 25, 2016 3:42:46 PM

AdobeStock_91111336.jpeg

Establishing a mall kiosk business may be simpler than opening an inline store, but it’s still a complex process. You have to get things right in order to succeed. Picking the right partner to create your kiosk is essential, because you need a solid foundation to build your business. When it comes to mall kiosk manufacturers, how do you pick the right one? 

Insist on customization.

Your kiosk must fit within space limitations and it must fit the products you plan to sell. An off-the-shelf design can’t do that, dimming your sales prospects before you even open your “door.” Custom design ensures you get exactly what you need, with a look that is uniquely yours.

In essence, a mall kiosk is a single, large retail fixture. Like any fixture, your mall kiosk has to promise and deliver an exceptional customer experience. The elements that make in-store fixtures work also apply to your mall kiosk. The right manufacturer knows retail merchandising, store layout, and fixture design, as well as how to construct a kiosk. That’s very different from a manufacturer that focuses on a particular type of stand-alone kiosk, say for handling touch-screen transactions. (You might want that functionality in your mall kiosk, but it’s not all you’ll need.)

Choose a company that’s on your side.

There are numerous mall kiosk manufacturers out there. But Palmer Retail Solutions president Jim Palmer warns, “Many companies prefer only to make kiosks. They really don’t want to get involved in the mall approval process or any permitting that may be required, so they discourage that by charging prohibitive fees for the work.”

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Tags: Mall Kiosk

How to Develop a Business Plan for Your Mall Kiosk

Posted by Kathy Heil on Apr 1, 2016 1:51:05 PM

Succeeding in business starts with a plan. A kiosk may be tiny compared to traditional retail operations, but it’s still a serious enterprise – just ask anyone who’s tried to run one (or more). In order to be successful, there are important steps you should take and factors to consider as you develop a business plan for your mall kiosk.

Decide what to sell.

Profitability and growth hinge on choosing the right product(s). Successful kiosks sell merchandise that is different from what shoppers can find elsewhere. You’ll do best with a narrow range of products but an impressive depth of selection within that range. Ask if your mall has a list of embargoed products.

As you’re researching possible products, ask about the ordering process and delivery timing. The last thing you want is to run out of inventory. Make a calendar so you can anticipate heavier sales periods. 

Choose your location.

You’ve already decided a mall is the right venue for you. But which one? Research community and mall-specific demographics to be sure they match your target audience. Placement within the mall makes a big difference, too. Malls typically forbid competing kiosks, but you do want to be located near inline stores that draw customers like yours.

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Tags: Mall Kiosk

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