March 15, 2002, 12:00 AM

Kiosks prove a point of differentiation at Virgin stores, says IBM

As multi-channel retailers seek to differentiate themselves from competitors, web-enabled kiosks that extend the store’s product offerings or improve customer service can help, says IBM, which is providing kiosk listening stations to Virgin Megastores.

As multi-channel retailers seek to differentiate themselves from competitors, web-enable kiosks that extend the store’s product offerings or improve customer service can help, says IBM Corp. IBM’s NetVista web-enabled kiosks can be configured to support a retailer’s POS system as well as web site database to allow retailers to connect with shoppers at any consumer touch point, says Ken Keating, manager of IBM retail store solutions strategy and business development.

IBM client Virgin Megastores is using 35 kiosks in New York and Boston as listening stations, where consumers can scan CDs they want to listen to or search Virgin Entertainment Group’s music inventory for songs.

IBM says the web kiosks are helping Virgin attract customers. "Relative to ROI, image and customer loyalty are key," Keating says. “The listening stations are very popular with shoppers." IBM and Virgin announced the web kiosk installation last fall and Virgin is working on ROI analysis. The kiosks are boosting sales and reducing operations costs at Virgin, says Keating.

 

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