What You Need to Know When Building Kiosk Software

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Cody and Andrew discuss the unique considerations you should keep in mind as you work on kiosk projects. While a lot of the software technology can be similar to building websites and mobile apps, the considerations for how it meets your business goals and serves as a public device are completely different.

We are seeing kiosks being implemented even more in the retail space. Kiosks can reduce cashier hours, labor cost, or minimize human errors. Of late, because of Covid, we are seeing an uptick in any kind of self-service opportunities because they reduce human interaction, therefore reducing opportunities for the spread of the virus. As a consumer, you may have noticed the increased footprint of kiosk solutions in your favorite restaurants and shops. This is very much in line with the overall trend of business automation. In addition, many businesses are implementing an express lane with kiosks. This could be with ordering food at your favorite fast food chain or even quickly getting through checkout at your grocery store. It’s convenient for consumers and it increases the speed with which the company can accomplish transactions thereby moving more product. In addition to payment kiosks, there are also endless isle kiosks which serve to educate consumers, with the idea being that you can have endless inventory.

We are seeing similar applications for both mobile apps and self-service kiosks, but there are some different things to keep in mind both for your business goals and as you’re planning projects for each of these form factors. Mobile phone requires you to put it in the app store, maintain the code and make updates, worry about touch, take into account standard practices for mobile apps. Whereas with a kiosk the considerations that you want to keep in mind are that they are almost always and they have different hardware integrations. If you have a card reader, a receipt printer, or maybe even other pieces of hardware within the kiosk, then all the pieces need to be able to work together. It’s important to research your hardware and software to make sure that what you want to build is feasible with the tools you’ve chosen. If you accept cash, then taking the time to understand your cash flow so you can pick the dispenser that works for the traffic you have. On the other hand, there’s a big benefit to the hardware question because once you’ve landed on the right pieces to go into your enclosure, all of these pieces are known. With mobile app development, you don’t know what model phone the user has, what size the screen is, how old or new it is, how much memory and so forth. For mobile apps, you have to ensure that your app is able to work on a variety of devices. With a kiosk app, once you’ve settled on the hardware, you only have to program for that set of tools.

Another business consideration is whether or not you want the presence of a kiosk for marketing purposes. You can have a sleek and minimal design or you can go with something much larger and flashier. You can choose to use various marketing screens to engage with your customers. Kiosks are also great at advertising deals and special add ons in the midst of an order or customer interaction. On the other hand, it’s much harder to get your customers to download an app in your lobby to then perform a service or transaction.

There is a lot to keep in mind as you begin planning your next kiosk project, but don’t worry! We can walk you through all of it. A great place to get started is our free PDF that walks you through thoroughly developing your idea and provides a ton of free resources!

Originally published at https://blog.bixly.com on December 9, 2020.

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