In a mall or any other commercial space, retailers often face prohibitive costs of leasing out a permanent retail space. By opening a mall kiosk, you can make the small size of your retail business work to your advantage.

Mall kiosks offer you more flexibility, both in terms of time and money. For one, leasing out a shop floor can mean a commitment of a few years at least. With a mall kiosk, you can test out your business idea for a few months and not worry about the cost of leasing space out for long.

Even in terms of your monetary investment, establishing a shop can cost about a $100,000 dollars, while a kiosk can be up and running in as little $5000. If you’ve made the choice to open up a kiosk, or if you already have one and are wondering how to make it big, let’s go to the mall shall we?

via GIPHY

Think About Your Products

In kiosks, product diversity and uniqueness often trumps offering a specialty service. Reddit users were asked about their experience with a mall kiosk, and the answers are fairly indicative of common consumer behavior.

For example, someone who sold accessories for gadgets made a huge profit, while someone offering to repair mobiles failed miserably. Food stalls are often a runaway hit in malls- even better if they offer something which is unique and isn’t available anywhere in the rest of the mall. For all non-food kiosks your success solely depends on the quality and diversity of products you have to sell.

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Bare Essentials

What do you need to set up a kiosk apart from the space itself? You need products, of course, and someone to man the kiosk if you’re not going to do it. Here are a few things to think about:

  • How much inventory you need to have at the kiosk location
  • How you want to design your kiosk. Paying attention to the aesthetics can take you a long way. Accent lighting, graffiti and even a quirky signboard are great ideas
  • What methods of advertising you’re aiming for. Pamphlets distributed to visitors at the mall can work well
  • Billing and your point of sale. While a handwritten note serves the purpose, having a computerised Point of Sale setup can make your kiosk feel elegant and professional. Primaseller can help you make the set up hassle free.

Visual Appeal

Even in a constrained space like a kiosk, it is possible to arrange products to add to the appeal and look attractive. When arranging items, look for the ones that really stand out- perhaps they have more bling in them, or they look truly unique. These products will do great on the countertop.

If you have several products and each of them is unique, you can consider printing a few good quality catalogs. Whenever a potential customer walks by, you can prompt them to take a look at it for details on all your products. Make sure to put in high quality images.

Know Your Customer

Almost all customers who shop at a kiosk have not come for that very purpose. They’re there to buy something else and happen to chance upon your store. What can you offer this impulsive buyer who is often in a hurry and probably tired after all the shopping? Variety of course, and a good dose of interaction. Here are a few things that can prompt a casual shopper to actually buy from you:

  • A very unique product that they haven’t seen elsewhere
  • Something that they needed, but never realized until they saw it at your store
  • A store that gives them an experience- this is why temporary tattoo parlors never go out of fashion
  • A friendly salesperson who makes the effort to interact

By having a judicious combination of any of these things, it is possible for you to turn a casual eye into one that ends up buying from you.

The Problems Of Pricing

The greatest problem that you face as a kiosk retailer is getting the price right. Price it too high and it makes the customer think, “Why can’t I buy this from a real store if it is going to be so expensive?” Price it too low and you risk going bankrupt. There are two ways to work around this:

  • Offer products that give you a huge margin. The product can be anything, but even after a heavy mark-up, it must seem reasonable to the customer.
  • If you’ve already decided on your products and don’t want to change tracks now, make sure you offer the best possible quality, both of the product itself and of your service.

You’re Not Actually Competing With The Biggies

Established retail stores in the mall are not your competitors, simply because people approach these stores with a very different mindset. You don’t have the same sales targets as them, or the same consequences should you fail.

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Your objective is not to see how well/ badly you fare next to these shops. Your goal is to sell, preferably by complementing what the big stores offer. If you’re on a level with a lot of clothing stores, sell accessories. If you’re on a level with mostly children’s clothing, have a food and drink stall.

Experiment With Your Products

As a kiosk, you have a lot of leeway to experiment with your products, because you’re not shoehorning yourself into one category to begin with. Take advantage of this. Always keep a good inventory of what your fastest selling item is.

With those items that just don’t go off the shelf, try and bring in new products, more variety. Have an agreement with your vendor that while you experiment with your product mix, he needs to take back your unsold goods within a reasonable amount if time.

Your Kiosk Is Your Advertisement

Your kiosk may simply be a pop-up of your online store in order to give potential customers taste of what the store holds. It could also be a small offshoot to a much larger retail location. In both cases, use your kiosk space to advertise this larger product variety. You can even set up stations within the kiosk for people to browse products in your online store.

Always talk to the mall management about any plans of expansion they may have that could affect your small business negatively.

With the right combination of business acumen and selling skills, you may soon be the owner of a flourishing kiosk.

Armed with a degree and a pen, loves to tell stories. When not telling stories, she also works. Hard to decide which one she likes more.