We’ve all seen them before. Those little stores placed in the middle of a mall. They seem to be in every shopping center these days, handing out souvenirs, candy, or food. Many of these places thrive on customers stumbling across them. They are often minor and temporary.
Most importantly, they are dangerously effective in making a brand recognizable. Today, we’ll be discussing mall kiosks and what they can do for your business.
The Basics: What is A Mall Kiosk?
Mall kiosks refer to the stores that operate outside the normal retail parameters in a mall. They’re also known as retail merchandising units, RMCs, and retail kiosks. They are much smaller than your average Forever 21 or GameStop. Still, kiosks do come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and aesthetics.
A mall kiosk will often have a limited supply of items, compared to their full-sized stores. Though of course, this wouldn’t apply to businesses that only run mall kiosks. Often located in the common area of your favorite malls, they gain lots of traction from a plethora of demographics.
The very first mall kiosk was developed in 1976, appearing in Boston’s Faneuil Hall. At the time, they were only considered for low-end markets. As time passed and popularity grew, mall kiosks became a staple of both upscale and low-end sales.
Mall kiosks do well in a great variety of markets:
- Fast food and edible products
- Accessories and apparel
- Gift items
- Informational displays
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Use In Advertising
With the above description, you may believe these units to be some sort of indoor vending booth. In all honesty, you wouldn’t be exactly wrong. Mall kiosks are much more than that, however. They also function as their own advertisement.
Allow me to explain this in simple terms.
Let’s say that you’re walking around your favorite shopping center. You’ve just finished shopping at Macy’s, and are on the hunt for another clothing store.
Out of the corner of your eye, you spot an interesting-looking kiosk. Its brand name is lit up in big, bright letters. Finally, the display cases are beautifully lit to showcase a wide variety of phone cases.
It doesn’t matter if you decide to look at the display, or even buy one product. This brand’s name and purpose will be glued to the back of your mind. Little do you know that this little kiosk is owned by an entire chain of phone case stores.
So, next time you stumble across a full store of theirs, you’ll be reminded of that mall kiosk. This is the power of visual marketing.
The Social Aspect
Not only can these units be visually appealing, but they also have a social aspect. As with any vending booth, a mall kiosk almost always contains an employee to complete transactions.
Service is a very powerful tool in this scenario. A kiosk that’s known for its polite and friendly conduct will create a lasting impression of its company.
While we’re on the subject of completing transactions, I think it’s important to mention point-of-sales marketing. The great thing about mall kiosks is that they often act as elaborate checkout stations.
Even if you planned to buy one thing from a unit, you may end up buying two or even three. Those point-of-sales displays may be the death of some people, no matter where they’re located.
Cost, Licensing, and Set-Up
Alright, let’s cut to the chase. You want to know how much this would cost you.
The truth is this, mall kiosks are not the cheapest investment for an advertiser. Though it isn’t wildly expensive either.
Mall retailers will usually receive a short-term lease for the kiosk in question. With any kind of lease, there’s normally a down payment. In this case, you’ll be looking at about $2,000 to $10,000 upfront.
After that, you can expect to spend roughly $800 per month. Of course, these estimated prices vary greatly. It all depends on location, season, and mall traffic volume. The more popular the area, the more you’ll have to empty your pockets.
It is up to the brand to decide what they’d like to invest in.
The Best Ideas When Getting Started
Now that you’ve got all the basics in mind, it’s time to give out a few pointers. When starting a mall kiosk campaign, you’ll want to:
- Know how to negotiate. Renting out a kiosk is much like renting out a billboard, or even a car.
- Research the popularity of the area you’re looking at. Does it have a high volume of passersby? Are you getting your money’s worth?
- Ask about the cost early on. Nobody wants to get their hopes up for a campaign, only to realize they can’t afford it. Save yourself the heartache.
- Ask about designer limitations. This is the main thing that turns your kiosk into an advertisement of its own.
- When you can, be sure to create a point-of-sale display.
Every tip listed here will keep you right on track to getting the most out of mall kiosks.