In 2014 a McKinsey & Company research project into shopping malls concluded malls were at a tipping point and they needed to do something innovative as consumer demands on the mall were changing.
A basic conundrum
The big retails stores want shoppers to recognize their brands and to prefer shopping in their stores. Not the competitive store, which could well be in the same mall. Their goal was to brand clearly as themselves and to differentiate from the competition as much as possible.
What consumers/visitors/shoppers were looking for was a mall identity which stood above the individual stores and created a sort of hierarchy. The mall had its own brand, complimented by the big brand stores within.
Keeping an eye on main goal
The job of a mall is to get shoppers to buy things, so making a change need to gel with the goal, and the result was mall kiosks.
Not as formal as the big retailers, often only offering a single product or a single type of product, and often competing with the big boys on that single product, kiosks became a part of the mall.
Through the kiosks the mall could suggest a personality and a brand. The kiosk meant the mall could create a bazar-like buzz. And once companies like Microsoft could be persuaded to sell via a kiosk the market was set.
The same but different
In a retail store, the sales people have to wait for people to walk in. There isn’t an option. Kiosk sales people can talk to anyone who walks past. It is a different approach to sales.
The smart malls put rules in place as to what can be sold where. But guess what? The basis of a successful kiosk? Location, location, location.