When it comes to paying for goods and services, consumers continue to take matters into their own hands. North American consumers are on pace to spend more than $525 billion at self-checkout lanes, ticketing kiosks and other selfservice machines in 2007, an increase from $438 billion in 2006, reports a new research study conducted by IHL Consulting Group.
The revenue generated by self-service transactions should continue this pace of growth in the coming years, according to Greg Buzek, president of IHL Consulting Group, an analyst firm and consultancy that serves retailers and retail technology vendors, including the hospitality segment.
"We expect that expenditures made at self-service kiosks will rise by about 20 percent this year and another 18 percent in 2008," Buzek says, adding that demand for selfcheckout systems and other kiosks should push the dollar value of transactions to nearly $1.3 trillion by 2011. The IHL report supports the findings of HT 's annual Self- Service Technology Study, which suggests that consumers may be more ready for kiosks than hospitality operators. The overwhelming majority of consumer respondents to HT 's self-service study (61%) said that they were very or somewhat likely to use a QSR or hotel kiosk if one were available. Coupled with the growing expenditures at self-service machines as reported by IHL, this data suggests that operators should be looking to invest in self-service technology when appropriate.
According to the HT study, however, many hospitality operators are still slow to implement, citing what they perceive to be lack of consumer interest as the number one deterrent.
"Consumers enjoy self-service and increasingly seek out retailers that offer the technology," says Buzek. "Retailers and other businesses are finding that self-service kiosks can significantly increase customer loyalty, as well as customer satisfaction."
In the IHL market study, 2007 North American Self-Service Kiosks, IHL examines the increasing use of four types of self-service kiosks where payment is accepted: self-checkout systems, ticketing kiosks, check-in kiosks, food ordering, and postal kiosks. The HT Self-Service Technology Study can be downloaded online at www.htmagazine.com.