This shiny new vending machine was getting a lot of attention at LAX. Everyone was stopping by to ponder the offerings.
There wasn’t anything edible in there though. Best Buy has it filled with lots of electronic goodies ranging from MP3 players, digital cameras, various types of cords, on up to headphones including a pair of Bose.
There’s a video monitor on the top right with some flashy advertising. The screen on the right provides a touch screen for additional info about the products and offers to take your credit card.
Best Buy is a Minnesota company so it was nice to see them trying this idea out. When I was still in libraryland we had talked about putting kiosks like this at the mall. But that’s a bit different scenario (and it never happened). The advantage here is that they don’t have to rent a whole store space. And they don’t need to staff it. Vandalism shouldn’t be too bad because it’s in a very public spot. It’s good advertising for the brand with the signage.
We were flying back from San Francisco and taking the scenic route through Los Angeles airport on our way back to Fargo, ND. So we had a few hours. I also ended up in 2 book stores.
When I was in the largest one, I found myself wishing for computer access to look up an author that I knew had released a new book. Wouldn’t that be cool if I could walk over to a computer and look up the information I was looking for while I shopped? (just like at the library?) I finally asked the girl at the counter and she looked it up for me. Then she told me they didn’t have that title in the store. But now consider if I would have had access to their online store and could have:
1. looked up the information I was thinking about
2. and ordered it right then & there to be delivered to my house
I’m not sure how practical that is in airports where people are browsing. Do major bookstores offer that? (yes, I am geographically challenged & rarely go into a bookstore because I use Amazon & have them delivered to me).
Last week I was shopping at my favorite store, Christopher Banks. I overheard the clerk say to a customer that they maybe had the item in her size online & suggested that she check their site. Wouldn’t it be nice if they had a computer there where the customers could do that and place the order for themselves right then & there? I’m wondering if the desire to purchase lessens or is forgotten after the person leaves the store? What if they don’t have a computer?
Libraries provide access to their online catalogs so that people can request items that aren’t available inhouse, so it should work well for retailers that offer online items too I would think. Would customers use it? If the retailer has invested in adding an online presence should they interweave that experience with the in-store one? Do kiosks offer a new direction?