Canadian Manufacturing

Self service kiosks grow in popularity across Canada with no signs of slowing: SCI and Signifi research

Half of Canadian organizations have increased investment in kiosk technology since 2019.

October 7, 2021  by CM Staff

Short-term Kiosk Investment Driven by the Pandemic (CNW Group/SCI Group Inc.)

TORONTO — New proprietary research from SCI Group Inc. (SCI) and Signifi Solutions Inc. (Signifi) reveals that investment in self-service technologies is exploding as Canadian businesses seek safe distancing, touchless transactions and a simple, intuitive user experience for employees and customers during the pandemic. Half of respondents say their organization actually increased investment in kiosk technology prior to the pandemic, with three-in-ten saying their investment level has increased by more than 15 per cent since 2019.

As part of this research, SCI and Signifi commissioned a survey with Angus Reid to explore actual and planned investments in kiosk technology among Canadian organizations, in several sectors, to identify key trends. It uncovered three significant insights: 1) the pandemic propelled short-term kiosk investment; 2) a focus on digital transformation will continue to drive long-term investment; 3) user satisfaction is the primary motivator for investing in kiosks, which include self-checkout terminals, interactive maps, vending machines and employee check-in devices.

“The pandemic drove more people to use kiosks, which increased their comfort level with the technology and is leading to even better user-centric design for the next generation of devices,” said Peter Collier, Vice President, Technology, SCI Group. “We expect that increasing user comfort with kiosks and ongoing design improvements by kiosk manufacturers will continue to drive adoption.”

While the pandemic played a key role in increased interest and investment in the self-service space, there are no signs of this growth slowing down. Nearly half of Canadian businesses are already deploying self-service technologies, and another third plan to deploy kiosks or some form of self-service technology in the next 12 months.

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Canadian businesses are including kiosk technology as part of their digital transformation strategies, with 77% of organizations stating kiosk technology to be important to their business in the next five years.

“There’s a new appetite for automation and kiosk technologies, part of which may be attributed to the shift in user habits that has stemmed from the pandemic,” says Jamie McDowell, Vice President of Marketing at Signifi Solutions. “More and more Canadian consumers and employees seem to appreciate the simplicity and interactivity provided by kiosk technologies. Organizations are seeing this shift and including kiosk technology in their digital transformation plans.”

According to the research, the primary motivator for businesses when investing in self-service technologies is customer and employee satisfaction, with 63 per cent of businesses identifying this as a top driver. This was particularly noted in the retail industry, where 90% of respondents said one of the main benefits they’re seeking from kiosks/self-technology is better customer flow.