Post COVID Business Restructure – Opinion

By | June 10, 2020

The following is an editorial comment by Kiosk Industry editors on the modified current outlook for self-service in the post-COVID-19 world of customers and employees.

Self-Service (and Touchscreens) Set for Accelerated Growth

We spent an hour with Philadelphia Inquirer this morning.  The same one it turns out who wrote up the cash versus cashless policies set up in Philadelphia (and apparently mostly at the insistence of ATM lobby industry, kudos to ATMIA on that).
“I’m working on a story about the future of touchscreens in a post-pandemic world.”
Our main response points were:
  1. self-service interaction is going to jump even higher as person-to-person declines. It’s simple math.
  2. Privacy issues with credentialing and biometrics will rise in visibility. No more hotel mag card keys but a facial recognition camera built into the new door lock for example.  AntiTheft AI engines (recent Walmart screwup e.g. with its Digital Eye on checkouts scanning for theft – link)
  3. The majority of the “purchasing populace” has a very short attention span. Example might be the premature opening of states here in US with nine of those states now faced with big spikes – link to Washington Post
  4. Quarantine fatigue or “Screw it, I’ll do it” is getting closer and close to emerging.  Example premature opening of states….
  5. Majority of your multi-generational customers (teens and younger) have no fear and less confirmed bias (like old white guys like me…)
  6. In post-COVID — Retail and Hospitality and Transportation/etc must “reformat” their business platforms. They will invest in Technology, not people.

We also had a nice conversation with Brian Whitney of Appetize yesterday and got a rundown on current and future strategies of cloud-based POS provider such as Appetize. We highly recommend his webinar on Restaurants Rise last week which covered “How to enable touch-free guest experience for restaurants“.

The point we took away is that all of the avenues and techniques for customer interaction which are NOT primarily person-to-person are going to be increasing, dramatically.

Nice article on NRN with Panera Bread and Fish City Grill on how marketing is changing in the post-COVID-19 world. Article link

Making it transparent to the consumer —

“Up until now, no one wanted to know what was happening behind the curtain,” Greene-Wallace said. “Our team members were good about washing our hands, but now we put in a dining room timer that goes off every 20 minutes and everyone stops what they’re doing to wash their hands. Customers can see what’s happening live.”

Main KI Contact Form
This is xxxxx with the Philadelphia Inquirer. I’m working on a story about the future of touchscreens in a post-pandemic world. As you know, kiosks have been widely adopted at stores, banks, and airports because of their convenience and efficiency, but I suspect the high-touch surfaces will make some consumers leery, possibly forcing businesses to make changes. I’m reaching out to see if you or someone else from the kiosk manufacturing industry can talk to me today. I’m curious how your industry is handling this both in the short and long term. Is there a low-tech fix, such as nearby wipes for consumers to use? Or could bigger changes be on the way, perhaps voice or contactless technology? Any insight would be greatly appreciated. I’m speaking to banks, stores, and airports about the consumer-facing end of this, but I’d really like to get the manufacturing perspective too. Thanks, xxxxx
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Author: Staff Writer

Craig Keefner is the editor for Kiosk Industry (Self Service Kiosk Machine). Opinions and point of view here on kioskindustry is not necessarily the stance of the Kiosk Association or -- With over 40 years in the industry and experience in large and small kiosk solutions, Craig is widely considered to be an expert in the field. Major kiosk projects for him include Verizon Bill Pay kiosk and hundreds of others.