afaqs!

E-kiosks: the new OOH tool

By Surina Sayal , afaqs!, Mumbai | In OOH News | May 28, 2008
Multiconvenience e-kiosks that offer advertising opportunities have hit the Indian market

India & #BANNER1 & # Transact Services has introduced the Wincor Nixdorf high end multimedia kiosks in India and positioned these as "India's first multiconvenience e-kiosks". Wincor Nixdorf is a global leader in producing kiosks and automated teller machines (ATMs).

The multimedia kiosks not only serve as a single touch point for many utility services, they also offer a great advertising opportunity. The advertising opportunities are in the form of the large 37 inch LCD screens (placed on top of the user interfaces), which play audiovisual content. Each 10 second spot played on these screens can cost an advertiser Rs 25-30. The campaigns could run from a month to a year. The e-kiosks are placed in areas such as petrol pumps and BPO offices.

Amit Tandon
The user interfaces (touch screens), too, offer opportunities for a marketer to power a consumer service electronically. For example, Yatra fuels the airline ticketing application. This could cost the advertiser Rs 2,000 per kiosk. The network of e-kiosks can also be used as a lead generation network, particularly in the case of financial institutions and banks. The customer assistance personnel who man the e-kiosks can be engaged as sales promoters.

"The product is dynamic and interactive at the same time. We have our digital signage software, where we can schedule content as preferred by advertisers; the same content can be broadcast at multiple locations at different times. We provide flexibility and scalability to advertisers," says Tandon.

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But how effective is advertising on e-kiosks? Tandon says that while there is no syndicated data available that measures the effectiveness of kiosk advertising in India, advertising on kiosks is an accepted medium in mature markets such as North America.

For now, of the 100 e-kiosks, 70 are operational at select HPCL petrol pumps in Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai. The remaining 30 will be set up by the end of May. India Transact has installed e-kiosks at the BPO, Accenture, as well.

The advertisers on India Transact's e-kiosks include Yatra.com, Airtel, Rediff.com, Club Mahindra, UTV, Reliance Money and IndusInd Bank.

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Is India ready for e-kiosks? Tandon says, "India is at a nascent stage for kiosk deployments; however, there has been an appreciable growth of 40 per cent in this segment over the last year. You will find marketers who have used a kiosk as a touch point for their consumers, some such examples are Vodafone and Reliance Money. There is always scepticism when a new concept is introduced, but our endeavour is to ensure loyalty among consumers as a result of their experience on the e-kiosk. It will take us a learning curve of five years as an 'industry' to achieve a level of 'using kiosks as a way of life'."

While other firms have also launched e-kiosks, they offer only single services. India Transact's multipurpose kiosks offer multiple services ranging from travel bookings, mobile top-ups/ recharge of any service provider, bill payments (electricity, telephone) of a majority of billers/ service providers, cinema ticketing and mobile downloads.

The India Transact e-kiosk uses a web based/ online system. The user interface screen is a touch screen and the user pages are simple and to the point, designed totally for customer convenience. There are multiple payment options for the services. There are customer assistance personnel, who educate consumers on the services available. The kiosks also have a telephone which connects to the customer care centre in case a consumer requires information.

Amit Tandon, business head, India Transact, says, "India Transact Services was incorporated in 2007 to deliver online/ digital services through various software and hardware platforms. We have so far invested Rs 10 crore in the business and have a projected outlay of another Rs 40 crores in the next two years."

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