Should You Buy from a Proactiv Kiosk?
If you’ve walked through your local mall or shopping center, you’ve likely come across a Proactiv kiosk at one point or another. These big boxes sell Proactiv acne treatment products, in much the same way that vending machines sell sodas and chips. In many ways, Proactiv kiosk machines are very convenient. After all, what’s not to like about the ease of running up to a vending machine, and getting an entire acne skin care kit in less than a minute. No need to place your order online and then wait for days, or even weeks for it to arrive. But in recent years, the novelty and popularity of Proactiv kiosk setups has worn off as many individuals are bypassing this purchasing method altogether.
The History of Proactiv Kiosks
After the founding of the Proactiv brand in 1995, the automatic Proactiv kiosk idea wasn’t developed for over a decade. Originally, the skin care products in this brand were sold through direct mail catalogues and through the company’s website. Another early distribution method utilized by the company was the utilization of manned Proactiv kiosks. These were little booths in malls where a vendor sat with the inventory of Proactiv products and actively worked to sell it to shoppers walking around.
This manned kiosk system made quite a lot of sense during the company’s early years. Many acne sufferers did not know about the brand, so it was essential to have a sales person at the Proactiv kiosk to coax shoppers into a conversation about skin care and convert them into customers. One of the benefits of this approach was also that customers really had a chance to learn about the product, how to use Proactiv effectively, and the sales person could even act as a sort of customer service representative.
The Dawn of Proactiv Kiosk Boxes
Another big reason why manned Proactiv kiosks were initially set up was less to do with actively selling to the public, but to allow the company full control of how its products were distributed. The company does not offer Proactiv acne treatment products in retail locations so that it can keep full control of the brand and the image. Some speculate that this has to do with all of the celebrity endorsements, and as a way to suggest that the brand is too special and “hip” to be side by side with other acne treatments. Hence, to achieve retail distribution of its products, the company set up Proactiv kiosks so that customers didn’t have to wait for their order to arrive in the mail.
However, the problem with traditional Proactiv kiosks was the cost to pay the personnel. An hourly rate, or even a commission, can add up significantly over time; especially when you consider payroll taxes and fringe benefits. Such costs often lowered profitability for distributors (who operate on a lower profit margin than Proactiv), and also took a lot of time from sole proprietor owners of Proactiv kiosks.
To address this issue, the company launched the first automated Proactiv kiosks in 2007. This allowed for a direct decrease in operating costs, and gave consumers an easy way to buy Proactiv products without waiting in line at a manned kiosk.
The Problem with Proactiv Kiosks
For all the ingenuity of the Proactiv kiosk idea, there is a downside to buying your skin care products from a metal box. Firstly, the kiosk can’t advise you about the best ways to use the product in your specific situation. It can’t look at your skin, make an assessment about the severity of your acne, or ask you vital questions about your current diet or skin care routine. Because of this, first time users are discouraged from purchasing skin care products using a Proactiv kiosk, and will be better suited speaking to a dermatologist instead.