Interactive Kiosk Keeps Retailers In Touch With Mall Shoppers

Loyal shoppers can scan membership cards and receive coupons and discounts targeted to their specific buying habits.

Customer loyalty and rewards programs are no longer limited to your favorite coffee shop or grocery store. A new mall kiosk application is now bringing rewards to loyal mall shoppers., Inc. (Van Nuys, CA) provides public Internet access via kiosks in shopping malls. The company has developed the CENTERLINQ kiosk network. CENTERLINQ currently has more than 130 kiosks in 20 large regional malls, including the Beverly Center in Los Angeles.

The freestanding kiosks are located in common areas within the malls. Malls use the CENTERLINQ kiosks to create brand and product awareness, educate shoppers, and encourage repeat business. works with mall development companies that want to better service their customers. The CENTERLINQ kiosk facilitates malls' one-to-one database marketing efforts. Mall retailers selectively target shoppers, based on their demographic information and their buying habits.

Membership Has Its Privileges
Shoppers can access the CENTERLINQ kiosk in two ways. One way is to join the CENTERLINQ network by completing an online registration form at the kiosk and receiving a bar-coded membership card. The kiosks incorporate Metrologic's IS6520 bar code scanners, which shoppers use to scan their membership cards. Discounted offers are printed out, which shoppers then take to the stores. Shoppers can present their membership cards at any one of the networked CENTERLINQ kiosks within the mall. Nonmembers use a touch screen to access general information about mall retailers.

One benefit of the mall kiosks is that they only provide shoppers with the information and rewards they are interested in receiving. "Studies suggest that nearly 60% of shoppers have not made up their minds about what to buy when they enter the mall," says Mike Costa, VP of product management for "CENTERLINQ gives retailers an opportunity to make a sale when consumers are in the mall and ready to shop."

Kiosk Adaptable For Other Markets
Each CENTERLINQ network averages 1 million hits per month. The number of hits is significant, as it draws more advertisers to the kiosks. continues to roll out the CENTERLINQ system in conjunction with mall developers. Future CENTERLINQ systems will incorporate next-generation interactive kiosk technology, including plasma television monitors. CENTERLINQ kiosks also provide Internet access via touch screen terminals. In addition to malls, the CENTERLINQ system can be used in other public, high-traffic locations.

Lisa Kerner