A typical kiosk. Image credit: Flickr
A typical kiosk. Image credit: Flickr

A kiosk, in Persian, means an isolated and modest portico that’s enclosed from all or some sides. Kiosks, in the contemporary world, are small booths offering products or services. These kiosks could either be manned, unmanned or completely automated. Kiosks can be found at airports, movie theaters, libraries, shopping malls, etc.

As aforementioned, there are two kinds of kiosks: a) unmanned/automated kiosks and b) manned kiosks. Unmanned kiosks are interactive kiosks – such as an ATM machine – comprising keyboards, push buttons, touchscreens, etc. These kiosks could also house medicine- or ticket-vending machines; photo developing or printing equipment; telephone; computers for web browsing, navigation, etc.

Non-automated kiosks are basically mini retail stores. Such kiosks are used to sell magazines, newspapers, cigarettes, street maps, and other inexpensive consumables.

Benefits of Kiosks

A kiosk in a mall. Image credit: Flickr
A kiosk in a mall. Image credit: Flickr

Automated kiosks can be used at events to facilitate registration, thereby helping quicken the entry formalities and lighten the organizers’ load.

Within the traditional business context, kiosks help set up a physical retail outlet at a fraction of the cost of erecting and maintaining a regular store. Kiosks’ renting schedules are also shorter compared to traditional brick-and-mortar stores. Online sellers that require a physical address for their business, but don’t have the funds or inclination to set up a large store go with kiosks.