Totems have long been a common presence in many contexts, from office waiting rooms to large exhibitions, to amusement parks and motorway service areas, public spaces and buildings.
Initially made of cardboard or other materials, totems have undergone a significant evolution in recent years, thanks to the diffusion of digital technologies.
The reason for this evolution and diffusion is certainly to be found in the flexibility in creating new opportunities for advertising, marketing and communication . Thanks to digital technologies, totems have become increasingly sophisticated and interactive, offering the public ever more engaging and personalized experiences, thus becoming real experiential marketing tools.
Thanks to their ability to provide information in real time and to interact with consumers, these tools are proving to be a winning choice for companies that want to improve the service offered to their customers.
But what are the main features of digital totems that are revolutionizing the customer experience? In this article, we’ll explore the benefits these tools provide and how they can be used to improve the customer experience.
Totems: from cardboard to the first digital forms
Totems have long been a common element in advertising and marketing, used to promote products, services and brands. The first totems were made of cardboard, wood or other materials, and were intended to attract the public’s attention.
In the 90s, totems were transformed into real structures, made of metal and glass, capable of housing electronic screens and other digital devices.
Digital totems represent a step forward compared to cardboard precursors.
Just think, for example, of these fundamental and characterizing aspects:
- Interactivity : a digital totem is able to offer greater interactivity than a cardboard one. Thanks to its digital capabilities, it can interact with customers in real time, answer their questions, provide updated and personalized information, and offer an engaging experience.
- Personalization : a digital totem is able to offer a personalized experience to customers. Thanks to its ability to recognize customers’ faces and provide personalized information based on their preferences, a digital totem can create a unique and memorable experience for each customer.
- Multifunctionality : a digital totem can perform many different functions, such as providing product information, managing waiting lines, offering customer support and assistance, and promoting the company’s products and services. Conversely, a cardboard totem can only perform one specific function.
- Greater possibilities for analysis : a digital totem allows you to collect a greater amount of data than a cardboard one. Thanks to its ability to monitor customer interactions with the totem, it is possible to gather valuable information on their experience and use this data to improve the service offered.
- Visual impact : a digital totem offers a greater visual impact than a cardboard one. Thanks to its ability to display videos, images and animations, a digital totem can attract customers’ attention more effectively and improve the company’s image.
Therefore, for companies whose focus is to improve the experience of their customers and increase their presence on the market, a digital totem represents a winning and innovative choice, ideal for growing the business and keeping up with the times.
Digital totems today
With the advent of digital technologies, totems have become increasingly sophisticated, integrating LED displays and increasingly sensitive and sophisticated touch screens.
These devices allow you to create interactive and engaging experiences for customers, offering them information, promotions and multimedia content. Furthermore, digital totems are equipped with management and monitoring software, which allow you to control the information displayed and collect data on visitors.
Thanks to digital totems, it is possible to view information in real time, interact with the contents presented and even make purchases or reservations directly from the device.
These systems have become increasingly common in advertising, due to their ability to grab audience attention and provide an engaging viewing experience.
Large companies use them to promote their products and services, creating ad hoc advertising campaigns and involving consumers in an interactive and fun shopping experience.
But digital totems are not only used in advertising. More and more companies are using them to provide information to their customers or to manage waiting queues in public places such as airports, hospitals and railway stations.
In these cases, digital totems have proved to be an innovative and effective solution to improve the customer experience, providing answers exactly where they are needed.
With the spread of artificial intelligence AI and augmented reality, we are witnessing their further evolution, both in terms of technologies and applications.
These devices are able to interact with the public, gather information about their preferences and suggest products or services based on their needs. And the spectrum of their applications is expanding every day.
The innovations made in the field of electronic sensors and their use in the IoT have sparked interest in these digital systems for applications in the smart city field.
Digital totems for companies: uses and advantages
To date, digital totems represent an innovative and effective option for companies seeking to improve their customers’ experience and increase their presence on the market.
Let’s see below some of the main uses and advantages of digital totems for companies.
- Advertising and Marketing : Digital totems can be used as advertising and marketing tools to promote the company’s products and services. Thanks to their interactive capabilities, digital totems can engage potential customers more effectively than traditional billboards or TV commercials. This advertising can be carried out both indoors (such as shopping malls, airports, etc.) and outdoors, as in the case of digital out of home or DOOH
- Information and assistance : digital totems can be used to provide information on the company’s products and services, or to assist customers during the purchasing process. For example, a digital totem can be used to help customers choose the right product or answer their questions in real time. An example of this application is Kiosk Live, a digital video counter capable of combining physical and digital, unified and omnichannel experience. Through it, customers can communicate with a remote operator via video call and receive specialized advice, as well as send, receive or sign documents.
- Cost reduction : digital totems can be used as a substitute for traditional operators or assistants. In this way, companies can reduce personnel costs and improve the efficiency of the service offered to customers. Let us cite for example the virtual concierges, where by means of totems and dedicated software, the visitor customer can connect with the concierge service in a convenient and convenient way for the structure. Kiosk Hall is a video concierge system that simplifies the management of entrances in unattended environments, offering this possibility of interactive video calling with a remote receptionist.
- Waiting queue management : digital totems can be used to manage waiting queues in public places such as airports, hospitals and train stations. Customers can book through the digital totem and receive real-time information on the progress of the queue. For example, the Kiosk Hydra solution not only manages queue flows and service requests, but also offers a cloud booking service that simplifies and resolves waiting times.
- Experience Personalization : Digital totems can be used to personalize the experience of customers. Thanks to artificial intelligence, systems such as Kiosk Nice can recognize customers’ faces and offer them personalized information and offers based on their preferences, or allow operations by recognizing the loyalty card or qrcode.
- Flexibility : digital totems can be used in a variety of different contexts, such as shops, shopping centres, airports, railway stations and hospitals, and in various application modalities. For example, as digital signage systems, i.e. systems capable of providing route information in a detailed and understandable way to a large and heterogeneous public: this is the case of Kiosk Wayfinder, the digital system for displaying routes on an interactive map, which provides users with information and intuitive routes to reach their destinations.
- Measurement of results : digital totems allow you to accurately measure the effectiveness of the advertising campaign or the service offered. Companies can monitor customer interactions with the digital totem, collect valuable data on their preferences and opinions, and take action to improve their customers’ experience.
- Designing a brand experience: many brands use them for their ability to create meaningful and memorable experiences, to promote a product or service, collect feedback, create engaging experiences such as games, surveys, quizzes and other interactive activities.
In summary, the latest generation digital totems represent an innovative and effective option for companies looking to improve their customers’ experience and strengthen their brand.
The marketing literature is full of cases confirming the strategic use of Kiosk totems in generating more revenue, enhancing brand loyalty, enhancing the customer shopping experience and increasing brand awareness.
Benefits for a brand
Digital totems can strengthen a brand in several ways:
- Customer Experience : Digital totem poles can deliver an engaging and interactive experience to customers, creating a lasting impact on their minds. For example, a digital totem such as Kiosk One Small designed for accessibility, placed in a retail store it can allow customers to explore the products in a fun and engaging way, improving the overall customer experience and generating a positive impact on the brand, thanks also to the provision of qrcode readers and magnetic cards.
- Brand Awareness : Digital totem poles can help create greater brand awareness. For example, a digital totem placed in a busy public place can attract the attention of passers-by, promoting the brand and increasing its visibility.
- Personalized Marketing : Digital totems can deliver personalized content to customers based on their interests and behaviors. For example, a digital totem like Kiosk Nice in a mall can suggest products to customers that are similar to those they have already purchased, increasing the likelihood of repeat purchases and customer satisfaction.
- Operational Efficiency : Digital totems can improve the operational efficiency of businesses. For example, a digital totem like Kiosk Easy in a restaurant can allow customers to place orders and payments autonomously, reducing staff workload and improving the customer experience.
For brands, the modern business challenge is to meet this growing demand for new experiences.
However, it is important to ensure that your digital kiosks are professionally designed and easy for customers to use in order to achieve the best results. The UX/UI component should not be overlooked, especially if you intend to adopt an experience-led growth strategy.
A strategy that places the customer at the center of value creation activities, to offer them a consistent, personalized and fluid experience on each channel.
The evolution of totems, from cardboard to digital models, has created new opportunities for advertising, marketing and communication. Thanks to technological innovation, totems have become increasingly sophisticated and interactive, offering the public engaging and personalized experiences.
Thanks to their flexibility, personalization and interactive capabilities, digital totems are revolutionizing the customer experience in many sectors and are destined to become increasingly important for companies that want to offer a better service to their customers and achieve their marketing objectives and business.