DIY a Cost-saving, Easy to Update Interactive Kiosk & Point-of-Sale Display for Your Small Business!
2019/08/04 ｜By G editor.
Importing digital devices to minimize staffing cost is a trend for service industry. Most shops now set up an Interactive Kiosk for customers to self-serve and a POS machine to manage their sales more effectively.
As a small business owner, you know the value of self-service and managing businesses digitally rather than manually.
However, mostly, the costs of self-serving Kiosk and POS machine are extremely high.
Provide customers an efficient, quick and accurate service.
More than $1400
Like a computer, for tracking inventory and sales.
Cost Up to $1400
In this article, we will offer you hardware components and some free or cheap APPs to piece together an economical Interactive Kiosk and POS machine in a cheaper way – under $800 separately – for your small business!
Mini PC or Any Device Equipped
with HDMI Output
POS Machine/Interactive Kiosk
DIY a Kiosk, POS Machine to Save Your Money!
Except saving money, another benefit to DIY a Kiosk, POS machine might be that you don’t need to:
🚫 Rely on IT Support
🚫 Grudgingly buy an expensive kiosk from a system integration company near your café, restaurant, shop in order to quickly send the sever back to the SI for maintenance or update someday.
▌ DIY an Interactive Kiosk
Cheapness doesn’t mean to use shoddy hardware! Instead, durable and reliable hardware makes sure your Kiosk won’t be off duty constantly. With different application or software, a kiosk can have multiple functions. For example, kiosks can help your customers to order food by themselves or other do-it-yourself service. The kiosk in your shop can also be used as a digital signage to promote your products or a panel to run digital satisfaction survey which helps you generate data automatically. More often, the kiosk can be used as a music control panel. You can use it to play music for your shop.
Customer Satisfaction Kiosk
Music Control Panel
Let’s start by examining which components you will need for making up your interactive Kiosk.
▌The Kiosk Hardware
1.LCD Touchscreen Monitor:
The kiosk somehow reflects your business. A good kiosk can leave positive impressions to your customers. Therefore, a durable, sensitive, Full HD touchscreen monitor is key of the whole kiosk, which showcases your food or product layout in glorious high definition with perfect touch responses. If your shop is under 100 square feet, then placing a Kiosk display under 15 inches on a counter or table will be a good option which is not only space saving, but also able to meet customers’ eye level perfectly.
GeChic -On Lap 1102I (11.6 inch, $299) and On Lap 1503I (15.6 inch, $449) touchscreen monitors adopt vivid LCD wide-viewing angle panel and projective capacitive touch screens which can precisely recognize touch points with bare fingers or specific stylus. And both of the monitors are equipped with adjustable stands to sit on table stably.
2.Mini-PC / Compute Stick:
A display is just a display. You will need a computing system to run your applications. Mini PC is the most suitable one to make your kiosk without taking too much space. There are many types of Mini-PC, including mini desktop computer, mini PC stick and so on. Compute Stick here would be the top choice for building an all in one PC, since it was the smallest one in its kinds. You can base on the software or applications you need to select a specific compute stick bundled with which operating system. For example, if you would like to use Android Kiosk APPs, then compute stick with Android O.S would be the right one for you to download apps from Google Play Store. However, there are also some free kiosk software for windows. Then, you should pick a windows-based compute stick. More will be said later to introduce you some great applications or software to download according to your needs.
Types of Micro-Desktops:
You may wonder why you don’t use a Kiosk display bundled with software. The truth is most of that kind of Kiosks will cost maintenance fee and be sent back to system integration company when the built-in mother board is broken. Using separate components to build up your kiosk makes sure you do not waste any extra time even when the computing system is broken. You can still use another one instead. If you use the kiosk bundled with software, you might need to close the store one day once it is broken down, since in the most of the cases, it cannot be repaired remotely.
3.Rear Dock for Hiding Compute Stick at the back of the Monitor :
GeChic Rear Dock is especially designed for connecting a compute stick at the back of the monitor directly to set up an All-in-One PC. This accessory is strongly recommended for those who want to save space.
Internet is necessary to run apps or reach cloud database, and wireless environment is definitely convenient and cost saving for your set-up.
The touchscreen monitor can also be used as the music control board. If you would like to use it to display music for your shop, then the speaker is a must-have. Using a Bluetooth speaker allows you to display music easily without connecting the cables.
6.Printer and Cash Drawer (Optional):
If you would like to build customers’ self-ordering kiosk, then you may need a printer for customers to print out the receipt. And if you use kiosk and POS hybrid software, app, then you may need a POS cash drawer to store your money.
▌App and Software to Download
After setting up the hardware, you will need to download a proper app, software for your kiosk according to the O.S (ex: Android, iOS, Windows…etc.) on your mini PC.
Here we gather some APPs and software for you to use for different applications.
QReact is an app for designing your own customer survey and gathering all of the data analysis. It can also help you segment your customers.
Surveyapp - Smiley survey terminal & feedback is an app with beautiful interface design. It has online analytics as well.
SoGoSurvey is a bill paying software which costs $25.00 Per Month. You can create your own customer survey and get data analysis.
★ Music Control panel
Block AD on Youtube
Block AD allows you to play Youtube music without annoying ads!
Set Continuous Music Play with Google Drive
Let’s break down the cost! You might be surprised how much you saved
▌DIY Your Own Music Control Panel
You need: 1503I Touchscreen Monitor, Rear Dock, Compute Stick and Bluetooth Speaker
Insert Rear Dock to dock port at the Back of the 1503I Monitor
Power the Monitor & Rear Dock:
Plug “USB-A to USB-C Power and Touch Signal Cable (included in the box of Rear Dock) to the DC IN port on the
Rear Dock and the other end to the two 5V 2A chargers.
Plug Intel Compute Stick directly to the HDMI port on the Rear Dock
Power the Compute Stick and Deliver Touch Signal to the Monitor :
Firstly, take out the “Rear dock proprietary USB cable for Intel ComputeStick/USB Type (30cm) " from Rear Dock package. Then, plug the USB-A end with sticker to the DC Out port on Rear Dock.
Secondly, plug the USB-C end to the USB-C port on the Intel Compute Stick for power. And then insert USB-A end to the USB-A port on the Intel Compute Stick for transmitting touch signal to the monitor.
Turn on the Bluetooth speaker and display the music. Done!!!
▌DIY a POS Machine
Setting up a POS machine might be a daunting task for many small business owners. The cost of POS machine itself is quite expensive, not to mention the software maintenance is such a huge expense. Except that, you may forget to calculate the warranty expense as a part of the cost. So, the total amount for having the POS system for your restaurant, grocery, salon or bar will be around $800 USD of hardware components acquisition cost, and if you would like to use a single terminal with one register, the average cost for software is between $50 and $100 USD per month. If you own a small business, not actually high-end POS functions required, the annual bill for POS might be a load for your wallet.
Hence, let’s take a look closer to determine which parts of software and hardware that we can save money.
▌POS Hardware Costs
POS systems have several parts:
Although card payment is a trend, paying with cash is still main stream. Using a cash drawer for POS system helps you track cash level and deposit money more securely. Search “Cash Drawer for POS” on Amazon will find the price is averagely between $59 – $100 USD.
If your POS software cannot email a receipt to your customers, you may need to use a receipt printer for completing the sale. The ways to connect a receipt printer are various including USB, Ethernet (LAN) and Wi-Fi wireless (WLAN). A wireless one will be great for serving staff to serve customers at the table. The cheapest mobile wireless printer on Amazon is $54.
3.POS Display Terminal: Mini PC + Touchscreen Monitor
This is the most essential part of the whole POS system that mostly you or your employee work with. POS display terminal is mostly composed of a PC for computing and a touch screen for manipulating. An easy to use, durable and intuitive touchscreen is the key, or even an advanced POS software cannot help you! A touchscreen monitor between 11.6 to 15.6 inches is the most suitable one. Lots of people use iPad as POS display. It’s convenient to use, and it is a device that most people are familiar with. However, considering its utility, iPad might be not a good option. There are lots of users online complaining about the problem that “APPs” on iPad does not work properly. Imaging that when you are in the restaurant and order food for your customers but the pos app runs slowly and even lags…that would definitely be a nightmare. You may consider finding a touchscreen integrated with POS software. However, most of them are sold by system integration companies, and the whole POS system often cost around $1612. Afterwards, they will cost you software fee monthly or annually. That would be a huge expense for small business owners. More often, when the pos terminal breaks down, the process to repair is usually a hassle process.
GeChic On Lap 1503I, and 1102I touchscreen monitors are equipped with a screen of which surface glass hardness is 7H, which means you don’t need to worry about scratching on the screen while tapping heavily on it during work, without the durability of touch times.
▌App and Software to Download
eHopper POS (Free and Premium Plan)
eHopper is a POS system that works on Windows, Android and iOS. eHopper free plan allows you to do order tracking, inventory management, customer management, print receipts and so on.
Mobile POS (Free)
Mobile POS is a cloud-based pos software for windows 8.1. Features include cash register, staff management, customer database and a full suite of remote access business tools and reports.
Sabor POS (Free)
Sabor POS is a premier software for Windows 10. You can create an efficient restaurant by its Ticket Management, Delivery System, Online Ordering, Table Management, Employee Profiles, End of Day Reports, Cash Drawer & Printer Integration, Credit Card Processing, Ticket Management, Delivery System, Online Ordering, Table Management, End of Day Reports.
IPT Point of Sale (Free)
IPT Point of Sale is a software for Windows 10 - 8.1 - 8 - 7 - Vista or XP. Business owners can track tickets, inventory, sales report and provides valuable analytic through this APP.
Breakdown the price to see the whole setup of the pos machine including POS terminal, receipt printer !
▌DIY Your Own Assemble & Flexible Cloud-Based Point-of-Sale Display!
Download “Sabor POS” on Microsoft Store
▇ Building a Cloud-Based System is a Piece of Cake!
Setting up a self-build single terminal point-of-sale system or kiosk is not as difficult as you might think! All you need is Internet connection, Windows, android or iOS based Mini PC, a touchscreen monitor and other peripherals like speaker, receipt printer…etc., and a proper application or software for your types of business. The last reminder, you can first search which application or software that fits your business, and then decide to use windows, android or iOS based compute stick or micro desktop! As usual, we found Android applications are more than iOS or Windows apps. So select the compute stick with Chrome OS or Android OS might be a safe option. Good luck with building your own business!