Magazine Article


2004 Digital Kiosk Supplier Roundtable

Delnawaz: The biggest challenge for kiosks will definitely be regarding placements. Retailers will need to ensure that they strategically place their kiosks in the right place so that they are servicing the right customer. Consumers have already trained themselves on using kiosks in so many facets of their lives such as airports, banks, delis, photo shops, the Internet and so on, so that the retailer's biggest challenge will be ensuring that the right people are using their kiosk at the right time. Most importantly, the retailer needs to ensure that they choose a kiosk that fully maximizes their needs while at the same time maximizes profits.

Lawrence: Exposure. Consumers need to know that they are available, easy to use, fast and provide high-quality prints.

"Retailers need to keep first-time kiosk users happy with great prints so they keep coming back," says Fujifilm's Klok.

Colcord: Most photo kiosks are too slow and/or complicated for consumers to view them as a superior alternative to digital minilabs or home printing. However, the Polaroid 2-Second Digital Prints kiosk has shown consumers that they can get not just 20 or 30 prints, but hundreds of prints, in the amount of time it takes to withdraw cash. Polaroid's brand and technology leadership will lead its 2-Second Prints kiosk to a strong market position in 2004.

Briggs: Lack of awareness remains the biggest hurdle this year. Too many existing digital camera users do not understand or enjoy the benefits of digital printing at retail, which means that users will either make prints at home or at one of the on-line fulfillers. Remember the reason that consumers know so much about digital at-home printing is because it has been so heavily advertised and promoted by PC and printer manufacturers who understandably have an interest in building this business. We need to build a similar awareness to educate consumers on the convenience, quality and ease of use of digital printing capabilities at retail. PMA is making strong efforts to help retailers get the message out. However, it will require the collective efforts of the retail industry and its suppliers to come together to educate consumers on the many services and benefits the photo channel can provide.

Klok: The challenges associated with kiosks are the same as those associated with digital camera developing in general. Consumer awareness continues to be vital, and the good news is that we are already making strides in raising that level. According to Fujifilm and InfoTrends' Year Three Digital Camera Retail Printing Study, 64 percent of consumers are aware they can print digital images at retail locations. In order to have consumers put that "awareness" into action, we need to raise their comfort level with digital camera developing options, such as kiosks. Retailers need to keepfirst-time kiosk users happy with great prints so they keep coming back.