What appears on the screen is just one of the elements of the overall customer experience. If you've got great content, you'll want to ensure that the rest of your enclosure looks and works well, too. Selecting a qualified fixture/enclosure supplier is a crucial step. You'll want to consider the goal of your program. You'll examine the relative strengths and weaknesses of different providers. To help you, here are three things your vendors should be able to do:
Understand the end-user's environment
It's important that your enclosure provider understands the end-user's environment. Those who approach enclosure design strategy from a POP heritage are well-informed of the competing interests of the sponsoring brand, the retailer, and the consumer – this can be a real advantage in retail settings. Other suppliers are dedicated to a kiosk unit-centric approach and may have less experience in the retail environment. Each style of enclosure provider can deliver quality results, but you may realize that one style suits your need better than the other.
There is a saying that's very appropriate to kiosk design, "Professionals only focus on the details; amateurs don't even know they exist." Designing enclosures with large-scale electronics is a very different process than designing for standard POP fixtures. Component access, wire routing and heat are all issues that need an experienced design team to consider. Is your provider familiar with the ventilation requirements your unit will have? A common beginner's mistake is to design the unit without proper thought given to the risk of overheating. Successful design is all about the details.
Most kiosk units are in the field for a minimum of three years, and experienced professionals design the unit with the long-term in mind. Experts will make provisions for easy component changes and select materials that will last throughout the lifespan of the program.
Work with strong network of providers
Finally, an ideal fixture/enclosure manufacturer will work hand-in-glove with your software provider and during the entire project. As mentioned in my earlier posts, you'll want to find a qualified team that has experience working well together and is led by one key vendor.
When picking your providers, work with them to design your program with the end in mind. Before considering a roll-out, make sure you build a prototype and then pilot it. You will gain valuable knowledge throughout the process that you'll apply later if you choose to push out thousands of units to numerous locations.
These 3 nice-to-haves will save you more than a few headaches. Remember, a strong fixture/enclosure provider candidate will be familiar with the end user's environment, design units practically, and work with an existing strong network of providers to get the job done well.
Craig Martin has over 15 years of experience providing Fortune 500 brands and retailers with innovative digital merchandising solutions. He founded Reality Interactive, LLC in 2004. Prior to that, he held senior business development positions at Media Right and Netkey. Clients over the years include BMW, Callaway Golf, PepsiCo, Bose, Lego, Leapfrog and others.