Self-service sales to top $525B

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North American consumers are expected to spend more than $525 billion, at self-checkout lanes, ticketing kiosks and other self-service machines in 2007, up from the $438 billion spent in 2006, according to a new report by IHL Consulting Group.

The report titled "2007 North American Self-Service Kiosks" predicts that revenue generated by self-service transactions should continue this pace of growth in the coming years. It found that the reason for the growth was there were 24 percent more kiosks that accept payments in 2007 than in 2006 and an increase in consumer adoption.

"Consumers are getting more comfortable with self service payment terminals," said Greg Buzek, president of IHL Consulting Group, an analyst and consultancy firm to the retail industry. "Most people didn't like ATMs when they first came out and it was the same thing with shopping online. There is a learning curve that consumers have to adapt to."

The study examines the increasing use of four types of self-service kiosks in the United States and Canada: self-checkout systems, ticketing kiosks, check-in kiosks, food ordering and postal kiosks.

It only measured purchases at the actual terminal and did not count previous purchases made that are being picked up at a terminal. For example an airline ticket that is purchased online is not included in the $525 billion figure, but an upgrade to the ticket purchased at the kiosk is added in.

The report found that retail and grocery self-check-out kiosks accounted for 46 percent of self service systems, transportation ticketing kiosks make up 22 percent, check in kiosks like those in hotels and airports represent 7 percent, food ordering 10 percent.

Buzek expects nearly $1.3 trillion in self-kiosk transactions by 2011.

"The accuracy and efficiency of self service check out terminals is great," Buzek observed. "With the shrinking labor pool and the lower cost of these systems, I expect that you'll see more of these kiosks used."

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