For years now the self-service kiosk market has been growing but undoubtedly the COVID-19 pandemic skyrocketed its growth even further. According to Technavio Research, the self-service kiosk market grew 3.55% in 2020 alone, and it’s expected to grow by $2.29 billion USD during 2020-2024. As the world begins to recover from the unprecedented pandemic, you may be wondering what post-pandemic business ideas and self-service business ideas are emerging in the market. Read on to learn about some of the new ways kiosks are being used, from health and safety check-ins to kiosks for a good cause.
1. Health & Safety Kiosks
This first business idea is probably not a surprise. As the economy reopens, health and safety kiosks will be an easy addition to restaurants and retail stores. An example of this may look like a kiosk placed near the front door of establishments where customers can check their body temperature, and if applicable the kiosk can use facial recognition technology to detect if the customer is wearing a mask. Quatrefoil, a Ontario-based restaurant, uses a kiosk that checks both of those things and will display a green checkmark if requirements are met, while if the requirements are not met, a staff member is alerted to come provide assistance.
2. COVID-19 Test Distribution
Also health-related, another post-pandemic business idea is to use kiosks to distribute testing kits for COVID-19 – and more. In New York City, this is already happening. Vending machines from Wellness 4 Humanity conveniently provide at-home COVID-19 testing kits to the public, which can be more convenient than being tested at a pharmacy drive-through, especially for city dwellers. Kits currently cost $149 and can be paid for by credit or debit card only. These kinds of kiosks have lots of potential to distribute much more than just COVID-19 testing kits, like at-home tests for allergies, hormones, blood panels, and more.
3. Pickup Lockers
You’ve probably heard of retail pickup lockers, like Amazon Hub Locker, a secure, self-service kiosk where customers can pick up or return Amazon packages at their convenience. Pickup lockers are for more than just retail, though. Restaurants like Rise Southern Biscuits & Righteous Chicken are beginning to incorporate heated locker systems in their brick-and-mortar establishments to further build upon their contactless ordering options for customers. These heated lockers keep food fresh while also minimizing the physical contact between customers and employees, which not only provides a safety benefit during the pandemic, but will boost convenience and help line-busting well into the future.
A common complaint regarding department of motor vehicle (DMV) offices is the chance of experiencing a long wait time. What better way to line-bust than with self-service kiosks? Currently approximately 45 DMVs in the US operate some sort of self-service technology, but the potential is huge for a number of government agencies. At self-service kiosks, DMV customers can renew drivers licenses, register vehicles, obtain license plates, take driving and CDL exams, and more. The process can be secure by using an access code or barcode from a renewal notice or license plate number and last four digits of a VIN, and language barriers become a problem of the past with multilingual on-screen instructions and audio.
Free Self-Service Kiosk Resources
The future of many industries lies with self-service solutions. That’s why Star Micronics is offering free online ordering resources for resellers and software developers who are helping customers future-proof their businesses with self-service solutions.
As people become more comfortable traveling again – and more workers remain remote – self-service kiosks that aid in reception will be very helpful to countless sectors. One example of this is a Zoom product that “enables a contactless, virtual receptionist in its newly introduced Zoom Rooms product to help organizations safely re-enter the office and sustain an ‘everywhere workforce.’” To use the solution, users can customize the “Start Meeting” button on a device in their building that is set up with Zoom Rooms for Touch to connect visitors with a receptionist. This kind of self-service check-in service could be useful for countless types of business and medical offices, hotels, and more.
6. Kiosks for a Good Cause
Kiosks aren’t just about line-busting, boosting profits, and increasing convenience – they can give back, too. Self-service kiosks can be a great way to increase awareness of fundraising campaigns and make it easier for busy citizens to contribute to a cause. Take, for example, the kiosk that is a part of the “Take a Seat for Restaurants” campaign. The campaign is a part of jeweler Marla Aaron’s plan to contribute to the World Central Kitchen, a popular food-related charity that pays local restaurants to make meals for those in need. Aaron sells small 2” sterling silver chairs for $250 each from her brick-and-mortar locations, her online store, and a self-service vending machine based in New York City that changes locations to maximize its awareness (and more installations are coming!).
The number of post-pandemic self-service business ideas is limitless. Whether you’re looking to implement a self-service solution for a restaurant or for a charity – or anything in between – you’ll likely need a built-in receipt printer. Look no further than Star Micronics. We proudly offer a wide range of thermal kiosk printers that can print receipts, labels, tickets, and more, and are ideal for a variety of applications and industries.
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Heidi Orpilla is the Digital Content Specialist at Star Micronics where she creates and manages content for Star’s blog, social media, website, products, and more. Heidi has a passion for writing and has worked in the B2B marketing space for over five years. Prior to working at Star, Heidi worked at a large reseller for six years.