From the February 2001 issue of Entrepreneur

Most people look at a shelf and see a shelf, but David Sauter saw a way to display and demonstrate more than 50 products in just a few square feet. Sauter, 33, heads up DMInteractive, a Green Bay, Wisconsin, developer and integrator that developed an interactive kiosk allowing manufacturers to create elaborate information centers in minimal amounts of space.

The kiosks are equipped with touchscreens that allow customers to see products in action through video clips. Presently in stage one of a two-part development process, the kiosks will ultimately be equipped with Internet connections that will allow customers and retail salespeople to interact in real time with customer service representatives from the manufacturer.

"[Interactive kiosks] allow you to serve your customers' needs at the time and place they want," says Sauter, who was the driving force behind the kiosks. "You can display an entire catalog and promote all products in a limited floor space area. As technology [improves], it's important to use that to serve customers more effectively."

Sauter believes the kiosks have the potential to develop into information centers that can be customized for customers. "We will be able to collect noninvasive information about customers so that we can customize the experience," Sauter continues. "Like Amazon.com, we can suggest other products or offer relevant information to customers when they return."


Gwen Moran is president of Moran Marketing Associates, a public relations and marketing communications agency in Ocean, New Jersey. She is currently compiling a marketing workbook titled Promote Your Business. E-mail her at moranmarketing@erols.com.


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