Insights

How to Choose Sign-In Kiosks for Your Stores or Offices

By Aila Staff

October 8, 2021

Sign-in kiosks are used across healthcare facilities, pharmacies, retail stores, and corporate offices as a way to streamline and automate the check-in process. They reduce the burden on front desk staff and improve metrics and security around visitor management, as well as boosting the visitor experience. 

Choosing a sign-in kiosk is dependent on factors such as your business size, the number of kiosks needed, your tech stack, and the physical locations your kiosks will be in—indoors or outdoors, wall-mounted, countertop, or freestanding, and so on. 

There are five main considerations when choosing a sign-in kiosk for your business: platform, software, mounting types, number of kiosks needed, and peripherals and technology needed (such as ID scanning or badge/receipt printing). 

sign-in kiosk from aila with payments

1. Sign-in kiosk platforms

Most of today’s sign-in kiosks run on iOS (or iPad OS), Windows, or Android. The OS or platform you choose for your sign-in solution will have wide-ranging implications. First, it will inform the type of software you can use on your kiosk. Some visitor sign-in applications are built exclusively for one platform, whereas other web-based applications are able to run on multiple devices. 

Platforms also differ in other key areas that you should consider. For example, there are differences in performance, security, update support, and cost of ownership between Android, Windows, and iPad sign-in kiosks. We recommend reading our full platform comparison here

2. Sign-in software

In the world of enterprise solutions, businesses generally have three options when it comes to software: buy, build, or partner. 

  1. BUY. Select pre-existing software to save time (and possibly money) on development. Many sign-in apps come with light customization options to ensure your brand is accurately represented. This method comes with the benefit of a proven user experience and an app that has been tried and tested against bugs. 
  2. BUILD. Some enterprises have the capability to create their own experience internally. While this will take longer and require rigorous testing, it will enable you to truly create an experience that solves your specific problems and can adapt to your changing business needs. 
  3. PARTNER. A blend between buying and building, a partnership with a third-party developer gives you all the personalization you need without having to devote as many internal resources to the sign-in kiosk project.

Regardless of which method you choose, be sure that your sign-in software checks off all of the boxes that are relevant to your business needs: 

  • Integration capabilities with your CMS or other software
  • Integration with hardware, such as printers or payment terminals
  • Customized experiences suited for the unique needs of your business
  • Accessibility features for compliance with all regulations
  • Analytics and reporting to inform your sign-in process and strategy
  • Visitor screening to increase security if your physical locations

3. Mounting options for sign-in kiosks

It’s difficult to control the infrastructure of your physical locations. But, with a variety of mounting types, you can still likely find a sign-in kiosk that will fit seamlessly into your stores, offices, or practices. 

Sign-in kiosks come in a range of mounting options:

  • Floorstanding sign-in kiosks work best in open spaces. Floor stands are also very easy to move to other locations to test effectiveness. 
  • Wall-mounted sign-in kiosks are ideal for smaller spaces as they take up the smallest footprint.
  • Table or countertop mounted sign-in kiosks work well at welcome desks to create a self-service area where customers can receive service from a staff member or at a kiosk.

Depending on your existing infrastructure, you make choose one or several types of mounts for your kiosk deployment. For this reason, it may be useful to choose a sign-in kiosk provider that provides a range of mounting options. 

4.  Number of kiosks needed

Sign-in kiosk providers cater to companies of all sizes. For smaller businesses hoping to deploy one or just a few kiosks, a pre-built hardware/software solution will likely be the most cost-effective option. Single tablet-based kiosks may also be purchased with the ability to buy a sign-in app from the Apple or Android app stores. 

However, for large organizations with hundreds or thousands of locations, there are benefits to choosing an enterprise-ready sign-in kiosk provider. 

ENTERPRISE SERVICES

Vendors that cater to large enterprises have the capabilities to handle large-scale deployments, including individualized support, unique integrations, and longer sales cycles while your company chooses the ideal solution. 

They also often provide managed services for support & troubleshooting, updates, mobile device management (MDM), installation, analytics & reporting, and more. These services ensure a smooth deployment and a consistent end-user experience. 

5.  Peripherals and additional technology 

Self-service sign-in may seem like a simple process. However, depending on your business, you may require a range of features and capabilities. Simple tablet-based sign-in kiosks provide a self-service option, for example, but the process can be longer and higher-touch than scanning a QR code off of your phone. So, image-based scanning may be one of the features you look for in a sign-in kiosk. 

But, what if a visitor forgets their phone or didn’t pre-register? An ID tray can still ensure a swift and secure sign-in process by reading government IDs and driver’s licenses. 

Another consideration: what if you eventually decide your visitors need badges or name tags while inside your facilities? The ability to integrate a badge or sticker printer into your sign-in kiosk will make for a smooth transition to the new system. 

sign-in kiosk peripherals and accessories

Some of the technologies and add-ons that you might want to look for:

  • Printers
  • Point-of-sale attachments
  • RFID readers
  • Barcode scanners
  • ID scanners
  • Front-facing cameras
  • Temperature checker
  • Shelving for purses, beverages, hand sanitizer, etc. 
  • Modularity that enables a handheld option for staff to sign visitors in 

Selecting a sign-in kiosk that has the ability to add on peripherals may save you time and money in the long run, while providing a better customer experience now and into the future.

Considering a sign-in kiosk for your brick-and-mortar locations? Aila’s Interactive Kiosk is ideal for deployments in the hundreds or thousands of kiosks and provides a range of mounting options, peripherals, and easy integration. Learn how the Interactive Kiosk created a 94% positive patient sign-in experience at one of the nation’s leading healthcare providers:

Get the Case Study

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