Self-service is becoming more prevalent as consumers grow accustomed to using kiosks for everything from self-checkout in the supermarket to checking in for their flights. Experts estimated that by 2016, 3 million kiosks will be in use globally.
Retailers have learned to use kiosks as low-maintenance traffic-builders. Redbox, which marked its 2 billionth rental in March 2012, has become a dominant force in value DVD and video game rentals. In-store kiosks also could be the key to merchandising higher-priced shrink-prone electronics. Already used in rest stops and airports, the kiosks hold must-have ear buds, flash drives and headphones — convenience items drug stores can’t afford not to stock.
Photofinishing kiosks may take on new uses as images move online. Consumers already can print stationery, business cards and invitations on photo kiosks. If consumers embrace creating personalized cards, photo kiosks could grab share from online greeting cards.