Top 9 Consumer Trends for 2013

Businesses should be grabbing the opportunity to fulfil consumers’ expectations, demands and desires for the New Year. There has to be awareness of the latest trends and consumer needs in order to maximise products, technologies and services. What do consumers want and expect from 2013?

Consumer Trends

1. Presumers
Consumers are becoming more involved with brands and the launching of products. They know what they want and are engaging more with products pre-launch. In turn, businesses and brands are allowing consumers to engage using different platforms to promote their products.

2. Emergence
Consumers are increasingly expectant of markets and technologies to emerge.

3. Mobiles
In 2013, consumers will be maximising every experience using their mobile phones with the desire to embrace a multi-functional convenient lifestyle.

4. Sustainability
The sustainability of products is a growing consumer trend that will continue to grow in the upcoming year. Consumers are becoming more interested in shelf life, recyclability and new things being made from the old.

5. Apps
Apps will be utilised to provide services and maximise their delivery. Users will be expecting to see use of apps in the healthcare sector in 2013.

6. Culture
Emerging technologies will be expected to reflect cultural influences and trends, and will become of interest to global consumers.

7. Niches
Consumers will be on the hunt for the ‘new’ or the niche services, experiences and products within the markets. They will desire the discovery of innovation and the next best technology.

8. Brands
Consumers will be demanding more out of their loyal brands, expecting them to be bold with their values and adhere to their responsibilities.

9. Social Media
Consumers are creating relationships with brands through social media such as Facebook, You Tube etc. Social networks will continue to intergrated with Smartphones and new technologies.

Trends in new technologies are changing parallel to the constant changes in consumer trends, to meet consumers’ needs. Trends in touch screen will develop in the New Year, which will advance self-service kiosks. Protouch works hard to be at the forefront of movements in touch screen technologies to ensure our kiosk solutions are fitting for 2013.

Multi-Channel Retailing Can Maximise Sales During The Christmas Period

At this time of year, retailers should be utilising touch screen kiosks solutions to provide a multi-channel shopping experience. With the evident growth in online Christmas shopping, high street retailers have an increased desire to use technology to their advantage.

According to recent research there was a rise of 30% of online orders during the Christmas period in 2011, highlighting the need for retailers to assert their high street presence.  Giving customers access to an in- store retail kiosk allows full browsing and buying potential, which in turn maximises sales and reduces queuing.

Example 1
As an example, a corner shop in Germany has taken an innovative approach to multi-channel retailing, by introducing an all-in-one polytouch touch screen system. This gives customers another means for purchasing foods, toiletries and household items. The idea behind the concept was to create a more personal experience shopping in a small grocery store, in contrast to a large supermarket. Customers are given more control in their decision-making through the expanding number of channels they have to utilise when shopping. With this example, consumers can hand over a personalised shopping list to an assistant, or choose online shopping from the comfort of their own homes, using Smartphones, iPads etc. or using the in-store Wi Fi. If users are passing by during closing hours, they are able to interact with a QR code wall in the shop window, using their Smartphones. With the new polytouch system introduced, there are 5 possible shopping methods to choose from. This live system can link to customers’ pay pal accounts and it also includes a printer so customers are able to print a paper receipt to collect their goods. With all these processes in place, the consumer can have a stress free shopping experience during the festive period.

Example 2
Similarly, a John Lewis store in the UK has launched a new virtual shop window, which attracts passers by to interact via scanning a QR code. This display features a ‘Top List’ that gives users gift ideas that they can browse and also purchase using their Smartphones. The benefit of this innovative solution is that it is 24 hour, so users can interact with the shop outside of opening hours. Multi-channel retailing gives shoppers greater choice and brings convenience to a whole new level.

Example 3
In Europe, the retail industry has incorporated a novel gift card solution. Using self-service kiosks in major shopping centres, shoppers are able to securely buy a gift card with ease and convenience. During the Christmas period, this solution is invaluable, increasing revenue whilst reducing staff costs. With the pressure of Christmas shopping looming, this new gifting system gives consumers an alternative option, an easy, speedy method of purchasing gift cards for people. The concept could be developed with the deployment of kiosks in different locations.

Take a look at the Kiddicare and Matalan case studies, which give examples of how a kiosk can be utilised in store to maximise sales and enhance the customer's shopping experience. 

Using Kiosks To Improve Security

Touch screen kiosks are being used by businesses, in buildings, rooms, car parks and airports, as a way of tightening security.

For example, airports in the US have an increased need to maximise their security facilities since 9/11. Funded by taxpayers and airline travellers, kiosks are being deployed to assist with the screening process. Security kiosks improve the efficiency of homeland security, whilst reducing costs spent on security staff. They are also valuable for capturing data and storing information for security records. Airports in Canada, such as the Vancouver Internation Airport are also using self-service kiosks in their screening process, to allow passengers to scan their own passports and declaration forms. This particular programme is called the Automated Boarder Clearance, used to reduce queuing times and make their security processes more efficient. 

Access Control can provide your business with a simple security system that controls visitor entry.

  • Manned or un-manned control
  • Video and audio communication
  • Biometric upgrade option
  • Custom access reporting

Securing Your Kiosk Network

When deploying kiosk in your business, you must consider the protection of your network. Some kiosks are in unsecure locations or are unmanned, which poses a threat to the overall security. For example, you could be risking information theft or unauthorised access to the software or operating system.

Limiting access to the operating system is one of the most important aspects of securing your kiosk network. With this access to the key areas of the control system, an unknown user can steal information, alter setting and also install harmful viruses on to your kiosk.

The risk of information theft is worth consideration depending on what information is stored on the kiosk. Access to vulnerable data such as passwords, numbers and personal details could present significant issues for a business.

With the security of your kiosk compromised, your software is at risk of virus. This can affect your Internet in allowing unauthorised websites to be displayed. Most importantly, an unexpected virus impairs the performance of your kiosk when it should be at the peak of efficiency.

Secure Browser software can offer a security solution that will manage the following aspects.

  • Protect the operating system
  • Secure access to the Internet
  • Control website viewing
  • Track kiosk usage