Thursday, May 7, 2009

Kiosk crackdown

I enjoy the occasional informational in-store kiosk. You can get the information you need without asking an associate, and ultimately decrease time spent wandering around aimlessly looking for what you want.

But while I was in Borders the other day, I remembered how the kiosks in the Manhattan location I often frequent are relatively uninviting. First, it's hard to tell whether or not they are for employee or customer use. They often have coffee cups, newspapers and books scattered over the space, and look more like a work station for associates than a place for shoppers to get product information.

When I logged onto the computer, the program didn't correlate with what they actually had in the store (it was essentially the retailer's Web site). I selected the "Ship to Store in 24 hours" feature for the product I wanted, but a store clerk told me Borders no longer offers that option. "We can get it here in three days though," she told me.

So why is this option shown on the kiosk if it's no longer available? Why was there such a disconnect between the store and the site?

Kiosks can be a valuable tool for retailers that execute them properly, but perhaps Borders should re-evaluate its self-service units in Manhattan and make the appropriate updates soon.

No comments: