"The cost of going into business is just really high, and kiosks offer the opportunity to get into business ownership at a relatively lower cost," notes Howard E. Van Auken, a management professor and academic director for the Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship at Iowa State University in Ames.
If you're testing a product or your own entrepreneurial aptitude, kiosks can provide a simpler business alternative. Not only do they cost less than inline stores, but they also have substantially shorter leases, ranging from as little as one month to just a year, as opposed to inline leases, which can run up to 10 years. With this flexibility, entrepreneurs can test products and decide whether to make the move to an inline store or to take on more kiosks.
When choosing products to sell at your kiosk, consider your audience and how they might react to your product. "Historically things that are demonstrated tend to do well because people are touchy-feely and like that interaction," explains Susie Grant, specialty leasing manager for the Galleria at South Bay in Redondo Beach, California.
And stay away from higher-end products. "Products [with] a higher price point may not be as easy a sell as those that are moderately priced, because the whole idea of malls having [kiosk] programs is to enhance their current tenant mix," says Grant. "It's not that the cart is going to bring the customer in; they just happen to pass by you and something catches their eye."