How Self-Service Kiosks Are Improving the Consumer Experience

June 26, 2015

Metrolite Self Service Retail Kiosk for Vince & Joes
Self-service purchasing is changing the way we shop. 85% of Americans have used a self-service kiosk and that number is even higher for younger age groups. Consumers love the convenience and efficiency, and businesses love the ROI and faster queue turns. Self-service kiosks are a win-win.
Self-Service Technologies Improve the Bottom Line
According to some studies, self-service kiosks can also lead to higher average check size. So not only do consumers like the convenience, but they also inspire consumers to spend more as well. Taco Bell saw a 20% increase in ticket totals from their self-checkout mobile app in comparison to orders taken from a cashier. Similarly, Chili’s restaurants saw tabletop self-service tablets yield a comparable boost in per-check averages. Lastly, Cinemark theaters has banked on 32 consecutive quarters of increased concessions on a per-person basis.
So How Do Self-Service Kiosks Change the Way Consumers Behave?
Here are a few reasons why experts believe self-service payment kiosks influence consumer behavior:

  1. Kiosks are programmed to up-sell and cross-sell without error or elimination
  2. People behave differently (i.e. lowered inhibitions) when ordering from a machine vs. ordering from another human

An experiment at McDonalds found a 30% higher check average when comparing self-service orders to cashier orders. On contributing factor was that 20% of consumers whom did not initially order a drink would do so when prompted by the self-service kiosk. There are also opportunities for add-ons and desert that human counterparts may miss resulting in an overall higher check average. The study concluded that self-service kiosks perform better at up-selling and cross-selling than do human cashiers.
Secondly, many consumers may behave differently if they feel they are being judged by another human. Studies show that self-service kiosks allow for consumers to give into their true desires, resulting in higher check averages, when not made to feel judged.
A pizza chain found that online orders contained 3% more calories and 14% more special instructions, but the special instructions are the interesting part. With the ease-of-use provided by self-service ordering, consumers feel more comfortable and confident requesting exactly what they desire vs. simplifying their order for simplicity’s sake when ordering from another human. This unbound inhibition leads to higher check averages and more satisfied customers whom are getting what they truly want without compromise.
Another study supports this theory of uninhibited choice, when at a liquor store, self-service kiosks increase sales of hard-to-pronounce beverages by 8%. The assumption is that customers were not intimidated by having to ask for a hard-to-pronounce label by name, and thus exercised their freedom of choice.

What about Employees?
BonTon Custom Retail Self-Service Kiosk Close-upNo business wants the public relations fallout of being accused of eliminating jobs and replacing people with machines. Overall, self-service kiosks can be win-win for everyone, including employees. Self-service kiosks free up human capital to focus on other tasks such as quality control, cleanliness, and customer interaction. Imagine a former full-time cashier at a fast food restaurant that is now able float between the kitchen and the front of the house making sure that product is delivered on-time and on-par, and that the dining area is kept clean at all times. Taking orders can be cumbersome and fraught with errors – as the studies show – but with self-service kiosks that same employee could have more time to deliver value in other areas of the business.
Olea Kiosks has been building state-of-the-art electronic kiosks for over 40 years. Contact Olea Kiosks today to find out how we can develop a retail self-service kiosk that can improve your customer experience and enhance your bottom line ROI. For more info on Self-Service Restaurant Kiosks visit