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Self-service Café/Bar Kiosk Serves as the Springboard for Convenience Store Chain’s New Business Model

7/5/2022

The constant need to improve efficiency and accommodate changing consumer preferences pushes the convenience store industry to adopt the latest technological innovations. Convenience store chains have recently diversified their business models in response to the reduced foot traffic caused by the pandemic. Tellingly, Taiwan’s biggest convenience store chain launched a new, self-service coffee bar kiosk in an effort to broaden its sales channels following significant disruption to its office worker customer base.

Industrial expertise turns domain know-how and business insights into a successful business model

The convenience store chain sought to increase average order value, attract new customers, and enhance contact-free shopping experiences. To this end, the new business model needed to include rewards, loyalty programs, and promotions. Likewise, consumer demographics, various store designs, limited space, and 24/7/365 operation were key challenges. This innovative coffee kiosk required a compact, reliable core solution that supported both contactless and mobile payments.

Advantech met the kiosk’s reference design criteria by proposing the smallest industrial motherboard (116 x 111 mm/4.56 x 4.37 in) with Intel® Atom™ E3930 processor. This core solution supports wide operating temperatures (-20 ~ 70 °C/-4 ~ 158 °F) for excellent reliability and performance in harsh conditions. For power protection, we included a circuit breaker, which prevents short circuits and overloads. And for solving malfunctions without shutting down, we incorporated a relay mechanism which enables the independent system shutdown of individual peripherals. This is executable without shutting down the entire system during a malfunction. In addition, this system provides a payment terminal for multiple payment methods, a 4G LTE card for remote system management, a 2D barcode scanner that accepts multiple barcodes simultaneously, and 2 x Ethernet connections.

Advantech’s extensive experience creating interactive kiosks enabled the convenience store chain to turn their domain know-how and business insights into a successful cashier/contact-free coffee bar. This reliable solution is remotely manageable and eliminates unnecessary logistics while reducing dispatching costs.

Grab-and-go, contact-free retail experiences increase repeat business and brand awareness

This new self-service coffee bar kiosk is designed for office cafeterias, breakrooms, and staff canteens. Its compact aesthetic is buttressed by a design that accommodates future maintenance and strict hygiene protocols. Tellingly, it features a service door for the power button and a door for regular service and system upgrade/replacement.  Likewise, the integration of contactless and mobile payments, and a 2D barcode scanner enables customers to collect loyalty points. Indeed, they can use the bar code scanner to access promotional or prepaid coffee coupons easily during the checkout process.

As of March 2021, the kiosks have been installed in more than 20 locations. They help office workers in these locations get their daily caffeine fix in just 35 seconds while avoiding long store queues. This grab-and-go, contact-free shopping experience increases repeat business and brand awareness — yielding greater numbers of loyalty program members. In addition, the real-time consumer analytics derived from members’ purchasing records helped establish in-depth consumer profiles and business insights that personalize advertising and offers. This new business model boosted the convenience store chain’s sales revenue. Consequently, they plan to release more than 1,500 self-service coffee bar kiosks by the end of 2021.


System Diagram