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Self-service screens and daily life: the dominance of digital touchscreens in 2023

Self-service screens and daily life: the dominance of digital touchscreens in 2023

Alistair Cousins, TrouDigital Marketing Manager

Growing in popularity within all industries, digital kiosks and touchscreens are expected to reach a market value of $30.8 billion by 2024. 

The continued exponential growth and increasing reliance on this technology has meant that more sectors are turning to digital kiosks to automate processes and help enhance customer and consumer experiences. 

In light of this, TrouDigital has explored the prevalence of digital touch screens in daily life and how the increasingly heavy use of kiosks and screens gives rise to hygiene concerns that call for appropriate measures. Our new research reveals that 86% of people now use a touch screen/self-service food ordering kiosk in public places. 

Digital kiosks and touch screens encourage more food orders

From automation and self-service to information and guidance, interactive and digital screens have quickly replaced printed/paper versions and helped to streamline processes and efficiency. Within the retail sector, self-service kiosks have helped to reduce waiting times and steadily reduced queuing times. In the hospitality industry, particularly fast-food chains, research shows that kiosks and digital signage boards reportedly encourage people to spend 20-30% more on average, and have them twice as likely to order a dessert.

One in five use food-ordering kiosks all the time

Fast-food restaurants have continued to adapt to a new way of food ordering, with fewer ‘manned’ pay points, more digital self-service kiosks and a larger pick-up area. However, the increasing popularity and use of self-service kiosks can come with some concerns about cleanliness. The research from TrouDigital found that today one in five (18%) people use self-service points all the time, and 43% use them more than half of the time.

Cleaning and maintenance can be irregular during busy periods

While most businesses conduct regular maintenance and cleaning, the constant flow of people during peak periods and busy times can make cleaning patterns more irregular. Four in 10 surveyed, report that they have often found food-ordering self-service kiosks physically dirty, with wet, sticky or smudged screens.

Despite all the efforts and campaigns devoted to raising public health awareness, only a quarter of people willingly sanitise their hands before using a public food-ordering kiosk. At the same time, almost a fifth (18%) of consumers don’t really think about it, admitting they never bother doing so.

As usage increases, cleanliness of digital screens remains a focal point

Digital kiosks and touch screens have become integrated into most people’s daily lives, including shopping and food ordering through hotel check-in and navigation.

How businesses can ensure cleanliness of self-service kiosks and screens:

  • Creating a regular cleaning schedule for all screens and touchpoints, where screens are cleaned with sanitising spray between uses. 
  • Cleaning self-service and digital screens at the beginning and end of each business day. 
  • Have hand sanitising stations or hand sanitiser points – with at least 60% alcohol to kill germs – available for customers. 
  • Consider having disposable sanitising/alcohol screen wipes available for customers wanting to use them.

For years, digital signage and touch screens have enhanced consumer experiences and have become a stamp of organisational success. As the usage of screens continues to grow at an exponential rate, digital displays and self-service kiosks have become a ubiquitous feature of modern-daily life, whether in retail, hospitality or healthcare. This screen-based technology has helped develop efficiencies and convenience while being cost-effective. However, as the popularity and usage of self-service kiosks and digital screens increase, we must ensure that hygiene and safety concerns are adequately addressed to ensure their continued success.

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