Walmart and Ticketmaster yesterday announced that they had jointly rolled out more than 500 self-service ticketing kiosks to Walmart stores around the country.
The actual number of announced ticketing kiosks in Walmart stores is closer to 550, with 44 in the San Francisco bay area; 69 in and around Los Angeles; 22 in the San Diego area; 145 across Texas; 45 in the New York City area; 42 in North Carolina; 82 around Philadelphia; 54 in Indiana; 38 in South Florida; and more than 100 in New England.
According to the announcements released yesterday — one for each area — the point-of-sale touchscreens in Walmart electronics departments allow shoppers to browse available tickets for upcoming live shows, concerts and sporting events.
It's not a complete, end-to-end self-service solution, however, as Walmart employees help complete the transaction and printout the tickets, after the customer is finished browsing.
"By integrating ticketing into Walmart stores, we are able to offer fans this very convenient way to learn about upcoming events, purchase and take home tickets without leaving their neighborhood," said Nathan Hubbard, CEO of Ticketmaster. "In addition, Ticketmaster will continue to work closely with our clients to create exclusive high value offers for Walmart customers."
This latest integration of self-service technology into the retail environment, even as a hybrid self-/assisted-service deployment, is a significant one, both because of the sheer number of units rolled out essentially at once and because of the backing of two highly visible corporate entities, Ticketmaster and Walmart.
One dominates concert ticket sales from coast to coast; the other does the same to general retail. Both also offer complete e-commerce sales services, but have chosen to supplement that and the brick-and-mortar retail environment with in-store self-service touchscreens.
All of which is perhaps another sign that rather than replacing kiosks and self-service endpoints in store environments, m-commerce and e-commerce will instead combine with self-service for a full spectrum of ways to engage consumers and capture consumer dollars wherever, whenever and however possible.
For more information on in-store kiosks and self-service, visit our Customer Experience research center.