Kmart’s in-store BlueLight kiosks now drive approximately 20% of the traffic that comes to BlueLight.com, according to a new report by Rockville, MD-based kiosk industry consultant Summit Research. Kmart has so far installed 3,500 units in more than half of its 2,100 stores nationwide. The kiosks, essentially an in-store presentation of the BlueLight.com web site, have proven to be an especially popular way for store shoppers to buy large items for home delivery that won’t fit into shopping carts, says Summit Research President Francie Mendelsohn.
The kiosks are winners for Kmart in part because they don’t try to be all things to all shoppers, Mendelsohn says. “The company made the decision early on to provide the company web site on the kiosk, not a dumbed-down version that could be used by all shoppers,” she says. Kmart had determined before rolling out kiosks that nearly 50% of its shoppers were Internet-savvy PC owners, and it designed the kiosk installation to appeal to that group. “Designing the units for the lowest common denominator would still not attract the computer-phobic customer, so they decided to not even try,” she says. However, noted Mendelsohn, “As Kmart welcomes millions of shoppers every week, 50% of those customers is still an enormous user base from which to draw.”