May 31, 2001, 12:00 AM

Gift registries drive in-store web kiosks

Web-linked kiosks are re-making the gift registry business in department and discount stores.

 

NCR Corp. is landing some prime web kiosk business this year. After doing the largest installment of web kiosks-3,000-at Wal-Mart stores across the country, the company landed a contract in May to install 400 kiosks in Federated stores. The kiosks will allow shoppers to go online to various gift registries at Federated-owned stores in Federated’s Gift Registry Alliance. They include The Bon Marche, Burdines, Goldsmith’s, Lazarus, Macy’s and Rich’s.

 

Federated’s gift registry program integrates with WeddingChannel.com, a popular wedding planning resource. Some Federated stores will house as many as three kiosks. Federated developed the software application for the gift registry program so it could link its store databases, while NCR provided the kiosk hardware and installation.

 

When couples register with one of the Federated-owned stores, the gift registry is automatically available to shoppers at any other store and online. Shoppers can buy a gift in the store or through the kiosks, which are equipped with a card swipe device for payment. “Federated created a user interface program that allows customers to get access to all gift registry data information, which may come from other Federated stores, WeddingChannel.com or in-store lists,” says Joe Weiler, account director for NCR’s retail solutions group.

 

Analysts say kiosks will become a major factor in integrating multichannel shopping strategies. “Gift registries have some of the more successful kiosk programs in terms of demonstrating ROI,” says Rufus Connell, industry business manager at researcher Frost & Sullivan. “These kiosks save retailers money by reducing the need for someone in the gift registry area and they provide a better service to clients.”

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