The Benefits of Interactive Outdoor Kiosks for Retail, Tourism and Historic Districts

Author TouchSource

Digital kiosks are revolutionizing public spaces across retail, tourism, and historic districts. They are not just informational tools, but powerful platforms that foster engagement, drive foot traffic, and enhance visitor experiences. This blog post explores the benefits of these interactive outdoor kiosks, and how they are redefining the way we navigate and interact with our surroundings.


Key Benefits

Retail and Mixed-Use Environments

Mixed use retail information kiosks are catalysts for change in retail and mixed-use spaces, breathing life into traditional landscapes. They enhance the shopping experience and create a connection between the visitor and the location. They can be used for: 

  • Driving Foot Traffic: When placed in strategic locations, digital kiosks act like magnets that attract customers. They pique the interest of visitors and guide them towards specific retail stores or events. The interactive nature of these kiosks can drawn in potential customers who could otherwise pass on by.
  • Wayfinding: Navigation within a large retail or mixed-use space can often be confusing for visitors. Interactive outdoor kiosks help visitors navigate spaces and reduce confusion by providing clear and concise directions.
  • Promoting Tenant Businesses: Digital kiosks can be used to showcase products or services in an interactive and engaging manner. This helps to attract more customers and can also lead to an increase in sales. Essentially, it’s like having a virtual salesperson who is available round the clock, promoting the business.
  • Directories: Visitors can now have a modern and user-friendly way to access store, amenity, or office information. It makes the process much more efficient and convenient for all.
  • Promotional Content: Being able to display dynamic promotional content on interactive outdoor kiosks is easy with customization options and easy update access. This provides a versatile platform for advertising and information dissemination, making it possible to keep the content fresh and relevant.


In summary, through interactive maps, directories, and captivating content, interactive outdoor kiosks drive visitors to explore and experience their surroundings.

For examples of successfully deployed digital kiosks, check out our blog How to Plan Your Outdoor Digital Signage Kiosk (2024).


Travel/Tourism Destinations

For tourists and travelers, interactive outdoor kiosks can play an integral role in visiting a destination. With the help of dynamic maps, event information, local amenities and transit information, visitors can self-service with ease. This can lead to more pleasant and memorable travel and tourism experiences.

Brown enclosed digital directory kiosk outdoors in a travel and tourism historic destination.

Interactive outdoor kiosks have various functions that can enhance the visitor experience:

  • Dynamic Maps and Virtual Tours: Digital kiosks can provide dynamic interactive wayfinding maps that guide visitors to their destination and can also offer virtual tours of the premises. This can be particularly useful in large complexes and neighborhoods, providing visitors with a sense of comfort to physically explore the space.
  • Event Listings: Display event listings and keep visitors informed about upcoming events in the area with well-placed outdoor digital kiosks. This can be a great way to promote local community events or special promotions in retail stores.
  • Dining Recommendations: Provide recommendations for dining options in the area, making it easier for visitors to find a place to eat. This can be a real time-saver, especially in large retail or mixed-use spaces with multiple dining options. Digital kiosks can also build awareness of and direct visitors to local amenities or key points of interest in the area.
  • Transportation Information: For visitors who are new to the area, outdoor digital kiosks can provide valuable information about local transportation options. This can include information about public transport routes and schedules, as well as details about nearby parking facilities.

According to an article from Hootboard, smart cities have become an increasingly popular concept in recent years, driven by advances in technology that enable the use of smart systems for various urban functions. One such technology is smart digital kiosks, which are being used by cities around the globe to achieve both civic and economic benefits.

Historical Districts

Interactive outdoor kiosks are becoming useful in presenting local history, culture and heritage. They easily engage locals and tourists alike, providing a wealth of information for first-timers and regular visitors. From narrating historical tales to showcasing local arts and crafts, digital kiosks become digital storytellers that connect the past to the present.

Key Features:

  • Virtual Tours: These tours provide a rich and immersive exploration of the past which goes beyond regular presentations. They hold the potential to enhance the visitor’s understanding of the historical and cultural significance of the site, deepening their appreciation and sparking their curiosity.
  • Historical Narratives: Interactive outdoor kiosks can also help tell historical narratives. Vivid and engaging narratives offer a unique perspective on history. The digital kiosks can display images, videos, and interactive content that provide a deeper context to the historical events or figures being discussed. They help visitors self-serve to learn more about the history of the location.
  • Interactive Learning: Visitors can be encouraged to be active participants in the process of learning and discovering through the use of digital kiosks. The learning experience becomes more personal and engaging, leading to a more profound understanding and appreciation of an area’s history and culture.
  • Redefining Interaction: By bridging the gap between the past and the present, digital kiosks offer a unique approach to deliver rich and meaningful content. They enhance visitor understanding and appreciation of shared heritage, making digital kiosks more than just informational tools. 

Here are a few examples of how digital kiosks are transforming historical districts:

1. In Tucson’s Historic Fourth Avenue, interactive outdoor kiosks offer interactive maps, and listings for local restaurants and merchants, enhancing visitor experiences and promoting heritage tourism.

Historic district white outdoor information kiosk seen as revolutionizing retail spaces.

2. In Ludington, Michigan, a popular Great Lakes vacation destination, outdoor digital kiosks offer information about local attractions and events. Furthermore, they also are starting points for a “History Walk,” which encourages visitors to take a self-guided historical tour of the city.

A brown outdoor digital kiosk during the daytime in a city plaza in Ludington, Michigan.

Future Trends and Developments

Outdoor digital kiosks will play an increasingly vital role in sectors like retail, tourism, and historical districts. Technological advancements will make kiosks even more sophisticated and versatile, offering a broader range of services and enhancing the customer experience. Examples of advancements include:

  • Personalized Consumer Experiences: Advanced data analytics help businesses to create personalized visitor and shopper experiences. At TouchSource, our digital kiosks can run software with touch screen interaction analytics to help users tailor the visitor experience to what people are searching for the most.
  • Multilingual Support: Dual language navigation makes information more accessible to international tourists and community members who speak other languages.
  • Real-time Data Integration: Kiosks provide up-to-the-minute information on weather, traffic, transit schedules and social media feeds, adding another layer of convenience for tourists.
  • Interactive Hubs of Community Engagement: Interactive outdoor kiosks can become interactive game changers, facilitating discussions, storytelling, and shared experiences around local history and culture.

Finally, all of these features make a kiosk a sustainable solution offering revenue-generating potential, community engagement and even economic growth. With outdoor digital kiosks, public spaces become more vibrant, interactive, and seamlessly integrated with technology.

Perks of Using Interactive Outdoor Kiosks

Interactive outdoor kiosks offer numerous advantages, from enhancing visitor experiences with interactive maps and directories, to promoting local businesses and events. They are dynamic and engaging, making information more accessible and revolutionizing public spaces through fostering community engagement.

Here are some perks:

1. Real-Time Updates: Update content dynamically, conveying timely information like promotions, events and alerts.

2. Data Collection and Analytics: Gather valuable data on user interactions to enhance visitor experiences and inform strategic decisions.

3. Integration with Mobile Devices: Seamless integrate with users’ mobile devices for a more comfortable visitor experience.

4. Emergency Notifications: Serve as vital communication tools during emergencies by providing critical safety information.

5. Sustainability: Reduce the need for printed materials, conserving resources and minimizing waste. (Find out how the Community Helping Place realized an immediate ROI upon installing a digital kiosk to share community resources.)

6. Revenue Generation: Generate revenue through digital advertising, sponsored content or partnerships. This additional income helps offset the costs associated with your kiosk purchase and ownership.

7. Community Engagement: Facilitate public announcements, surveys and feedback. Promote local events and initiatives. 

8. Adaptability: Tailor digital kiosks and their enclosures to specific needs and environments, blending seamlessly while delivering relevant content. (At TouchSource, our customers can choose from a complete palette of design options to fit your space, from classic and historical to chic and refined. For more information on design options, download our Product Catalog).  

9. Remote Management: Update content, monitor performance and troubleshoot issues remotely ensuring uninterrupted service. 



In summary, as we advance further into the digital age, interactive outdoor kiosks will continue transforming public spaces, offering more engaging, personalized, and memorable experiences. Businesses, destinations, and communities will better connect with their audiences, drive economic growth and preserve cultural heritage. The future of interactive outdoor kiosks is bright.

Have a digital kiosk project in mind? Request a Quote from us today or call us at 866.476.1872.

Share Story

Our Partners