From amusement and water parks to the state and county fairs to outdoor shopping malls the outdoor kiosk is and has been a bastion of American culture for decades. But it hasn’t stood still. From early generation fast food drive-thru’s and newspaper stands, kiosks eventually evolved to sell nearly any service or product. A tidal shift came when these stands began to implement fully-automated, self-automated kiosks, eliminating the labor costs associated with traditional sales booths. But the industry isn’t done making improvements, not by a long shot. The newest standards for outdoor kiosks—for both full-service and self-service stands—are digital displays and software that create unprecedented flexibility and sharp, attention-grabbing presentations. To this end, here’s what you need to know about what this digital technology has to offer your kiosks, before you implement a new sales booth or automated stand.

Outdoor Kiosks for Big Business and Individual Entrepreneurs
Due to America’s diverse economy, technological innovations rarely create paradigm shifts unless they can be employed by both big business and individual entrepreneurs. The outdoor kiosk quickly demonstrated it had plenty to offer both business models. Specifically, large businesses are enticed by low operating costs and unparalleled storefront versatility, allowing them to modify their marketing strategies in a fraction of the time, compared to traditional kiosks. But while big business covet these digital advantages in both indoor and outdoor kiosks, entrepreneurs see a particular advantage in the outdoor set-up, namely circumventing the start-up costs of buying or leasing a permanent business location. If you’ve got a product or service to sell, an outdoor kiosk can get you up and running in less time and with less start-up capital than nearly any other form of infrastructure. (An Internet-based business is one notable exception, but if you’re selling a product or tangible service, this set-up is likely implausible for other reasons.)

Indeed, it’s a classic American story, and one that’s being retold many times over during these brutal economic times. If you listened to standard financial advice and put away 10% of your income for a rainy day, you may have the capital necessary to start up exactly this sort of business. Alternately, the lower capital requirements make it significantly easier to secure a small business loan. In either case, many people realize this sort of investment, while certainly risky, is better than watching their savings slowly dwindle down over the course of six months to a year. And speaking of standard advice, don’t forget you have to spend money to make money. An old-fashioned and used outdoor kiosk stand may be had “on the cheap” but they’re also frequently derided as a “roach coach.” By contrast, an outdoor kiosk with a digital display doesn’t just give the ability to grab people’s attention and advertise a wide range of products and promotions, it also signals that your product and service are successful and, thus, worth consumers’ time and money.

Self-Service, Outdoor Kiosks and Digital Software
Digital technology goes hand-in-hand with fully-automated, self-service kiosks. And there’s no shortage of applications for these kiosks in outdoor settings. Along with new generation ATMs, information kiosks and mass transit kiosks are becoming more and more common. Awnings, umbrellas, and other covering are often in conjunction with these stations, not to protect the water-tight kiosk but to keep customers dry in all manner of weather.

Whether you’re interested in one of these self-service digital kiosks or digital signage for more traditional kiosks, you need reliable, high-performance, and user-friendly software to design and operate the displays. This is exactly what Four Winds Interactive has to offer you. Our industry-leading Content Manager and Content Player provide efficient design capability, hassle-free operation, and the feedback information necessary to ensure your digital signage or kiosk is an effective asset for your business. We can even help you find digital kiosk/digital signage hardware through one of our multiple business partners. So let’s start to get your outdoor kiosk up and running today.