ALBANY, Calif. -- An ambitious touch-screen interactive kiosk program at an Andronico's Market store is attracting significant customer response, said Kathie Mullally, director of electronic marketing.
The retailer, based here, has 11 kiosks in its Danville, Calif., store. "We are creating a different feeling in each of our departments. We like to think that our customers will have a sense of having had a really good time, that they enjoyed themselves while they were here and taken home something that will improve the quality of their lives," Mullally said.
The kiosks are used to communicate product features in various categories, such as wine and olive oil. They also serve to promote and provide information about Andronico's Premier Customer frequent-shopper program. "We can steer our customers toward the things that they may not notice while all of their senses are being assaulted in that store," she said.
Located in different parts of the store, some kiosks are on endcaps while others are in in-line shelving, and one freestanding island station has two screens, with the second one at a lower position for children and elderly customers who might be using mobile carts or wheelchairs while shopping.
The kiosks are from AP Unix, San Diego, and the frequency program is Allegiance from Triversity, Toronto, a company recently created out of the recent merger of Trimax, Toronto, and Stores Automated Systems Inc. (SASI), Bristol, Pa. The Danville store is the only one of Andronico's 10 units to have the frequency program or the kiosks, although the retailer is considering a rollout, Mullally said.
Mullally estimated that about 10% of the store's customers regularly use the kiosks. The content of the kiosks will change and new functions will be added, she said. For example, "Customers soon will be able to go to the kiosks and see where they stand in earning their next reward. They will be able to get offers specifically targeted to them when they scan their card at the kiosks," Mullally said. Customers can even print out a temporary frequent-shopper card if they have forgotten theirs, she said.
The audio capabilities of the kiosks enhance the customers' experience and invite them to spend more time at the screen and in the store.
Specialty departments also have kiosks. Information includes "About Andronico's"; a store map; job openings; and a virtual store "tour" through the unit's produce, deli Forno di Andronico bakery, and the wine, beer and spirits department.
Other topics include a "Pantry Basics" list of what items a well-outfitted kitchen should have, information on party planning, and the retailer's catering offerings. The Wine Hall kiosk imparts recommendations about pairing wine and food. Special choices are grouped by the cost of the bottle. A winery of the month is also featured. The Living Healthy Center's kiosk offers consumer access to Health Notes, a CD ROM with additional on-line capabilities, which describes various herbs, supplements and remedies, with suggestions for relieving various ailments.
The Danville store also features an elaborate sound system, with eight distinct sound zones, enabling the retailer to play a variety of music in different areas. For example, as the customer moves from the food-service area to the Living Healthy Center, the sound of opera music goes down and New Age jazz increases in volume. Frank Sinatra is played in the Wine Hall. These music selections are offered for sale, and customers can sample them through the kiosks.
Kiosks located in other areas around the store, including the cheese counter and food-service area, provide information about ingredients and the cooking/lifestyle school. Upcoming events and the retailer's Kid's Club are featured as well.