What is a Kiosk?

Retail kiosks that are popular may gain enough of a following to move into a storefront.
Freestanding merchant kiosks are often situated along the center aisle of a shopping mall in order to attract foot traffic.
Kiosks may promote new products from an established brand, such as when they feature a line of makeup from a recognized cosmetics company.
Article Details
  • Written By: Shannon Kietzman
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 08 November 2015
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
After their return from the Moon, the Apollo 11 crew had to go through customs at the Honolulu Airport.  more...

November 27 ,  1978 :  Harvey Milk and San Francisco Mayor George Moscone were murdered.  more...

In today’s busy world, kiosk machines and mall kiosks are growing increasingly popular. For a small monetary investment, a person can open his or her own retail store or business by using a kiosk and avoid paying large amounts of overhead or high rental fees.

There are two primary kiosk types. Many shoppers are familiar with the type that is found inside a shopping mall’s wide hallway. This small, booth-like kiosk offers specialty products. Typically, only one or two workers are employed there to operate the register and answer customer inquiries. This small shop often sells goods from a larger chain store that does not wish to invest in another full-scale store.

A kiosk can also offer an excellent means of bringing products to rural areas. In these areas, there may be some interest in the product, but not enough to support an entire store’s rental, merchandising, and employment costs. In this case, a kiosk can be ideal.

Another type of kiosk takes advantage of today’s technological age. Large chain stores and retailers can offer services through self-service kiosks. For example, drug stores frequently offer self-service photo developing machines.

In fact, some companies offer kiosks capable of printing pictures from digital cameras. Customers can crop the photo, remove red-eye, and enlarge prints with the touch of a button. Within minutes, the photos are printed and ready to take home. This self-service device has become immensely popular in many areas of the world.


Kiosk video rentals, Internet stations, and even ATMs in rural areas are becoming increasingly popular. A shopper can use his or her credit card or cash at these machines, which are often open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A kiosk can be somewhat costly to set up in the beginning, but as it is used frequently, it eventually pays for itself.

In the future, more kiosks will likely be used. Currently, there is one in the works that is meant to offer video telephone calls. Music lovers may be able to take advantage of a music kiosk where songs can be downloaded and transferred to a disc while they wait.


You might also Like


Discuss this Article

Post 3

@Denha, I visited Italy recently and was even more accosted by people at kiosk shops there than ever in the United States. Apparently many people in Europe believe that all Americans who travel are rich, so they will try to guess whether or not you are a tourist, and if you are, they won't leave you alone.

If you go somewhere like a bazaar, however, where there are many kiosks all in one enclosed place, the salespeople in general are nicer and more forgiving if you look at their wares and then decide not to buy anything.

Post 2

Sometimes I really like shopping at kiosks, except that many in the malls where I shop most often are dedicated either to a product that really is not useful or to something that I could buy any number of other places. I also dislike that in these types of kiosks, the sales people refuse to take no for an answer when you say that you are not interested in their products.

Post 1

Kiosks are a great first business. Their low overhead, especially in terms of the low lease cost associated with them, is a great benefit to first time entrepreneurs.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously


forgot password?