Key Copy Kiosk Shows What Much Interactive Retail Should Really Be About

keyme_kioskHere’s a great example of an interactive screen solution, coupled with a machine, that goes to the heart of what any of this “customer engagement” stuff should be about – making something faster, better and easier for consumers.

In this case, it’s a kiosk that can copy a house, car or other key in a matter of seconds, on demand. As opposed to standing at an empty counter while the public address system in the big box store pages Walter to get his butt over to the key counter. The KeyMe Kiosk is touted as allowing consumers to get it done themselves, in half a minute.

The company just announced a $15M Series C round of funding, bringing the total raised to date to $45M. The new money will help build out the company’s aggressive expansion plan, adding more than 3,500 key copying kiosks by the end of 2017 in retailers, like 7-Eleven, Albertsons, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Kmart, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Rite Aid, Safeway and Sears.

Says a press release:

The new KeyMe kiosk is the first and only kiosk with the ability to support approximately 85% of all automotive keys on the market, including modern “fob” automotive keys.  Consumers have historically been forced to go to a dealer for such keys and often pay hundreds of dollars.

This technology enables KeyMe to scan car keys at the kiosk, read the transponder, and ship a fully ­programmed copy with a shipment tracking code in under two days. Prices start at $19.99 for non-­transponder keys and $59.99 for “fob” keys and transponder keys.  KeyMe can also replicate keys for recreational, watercraft, and commercial vehicles.

In a revolutionary advance in the industry, KeyMe enables customers to save digital copies of their keys in the cloud. Customers can then recover a copy simply and securely using their fingerprint at any of the kiosks if they are ever locked out and can also use KeyMe’s free iOS and Android apps, creating a seamless multi-platform experience – keys can be saved via the app and stored in the cloud, then accessed and printed at a kiosk in the event of a lockout, saving hundreds of dollars that would ordinarily be spent on an emergency locksmith visit.

 

I mention this because a lot – A LOT – of what you see in big box retail are online catalog/website-repurposed touchscreens that mostly gather dust. They show what’s in stick and do little to nothing to make the shopper visit faster, better or easier.

Yes, this is a third-party device dropped in place, and it’s not clear on the site if these kiosks are dropped in and the retailer gets a revenue split (almost certainly). But it shows what interactive could/should be, versus the often feeble “customer engagement” efforts you see in the field – which are more about the thing – the screen – than what it actually delivers.

Dave Haynes

Dave Haynes

Editor/Founder at Sixteen:Nine
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for more than a decade. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He's based near Toronto.
Dave Haynes

@sixteennine

Decade-old blog about digital signage and related tech, written by industry consultant and shit-disturber Dave Haynes.
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