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How to Diversify Your Retail Business With a Cart or Kiosk

August 14th, 2012 ::

By Karen Axelton

It may still be summer outside, but for ecommerce or retail entrepreneurs, it’s never too early to start thinking about holiday sales. How will you increase your retail sales for the 2012 holiday shopping season? One way is by expanding with a cart or kiosk. Whether your current retail business is online-only or located in a storefront, adding a cart or kiosk can be a great way to expand awareness and build business.

Carts and kiosks are popular with retailers and mall operators alike because they drive traffic and provide extra revenue for malls. To determine if a cart or kiosk is right for you, consider:

  • Is your product an impulse item with a relatively low price point?
  • Is your product a good gift item for the holidays?
  • Is your product one that benefits from demonstrations or crowd interactions?
  • Is your product small enough to be displayed and stocked in a small space?

If a cart or kiosk makes sense for you, contact local malls and ask for the specialty tenant leasing coordinator. Ask about spaces available, size and design requirements, lease terms and conditions, and how you will be charged for the space. Many malls have kiosks or carts available for lease, so you won’t have to buy your own.

Kiosks and carts are competitive, especially during the busy holiday season, so when you meet with the mall leasing representative, be prepared to show your stuff. You’ll need to convey why you think your product will be a valuable addition to the mall. Show sales figures and other evidence to prove that your concept is successful.

Use your kiosk or cart to drive traffic to your other locations:

  • Prominently display your website URL on your cart, kiosk, packaging and business cards.
  • If you have a retail storefront, display that information on your cart or kiosk: “Like what you see? Find more at our store in the (Name of Mall).”
  • Consider offering a discount for consumers who visit your physical location or ecommerce site. Give out a coupon good only at your store, or direct them to your website to print out a coupon for their next purchase.

Set goals for sales at your kiosk or cart and track your results to determine if the move paid off. If so, you may want to consider having a kiosk or cart year-round—or at least setting one up again next holiday season.

Image by Flickr user coolinsights (Creative Commons)


The views expressed here are the author's alone and not those of Network Solutions or its partners.

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