According to Janet Mayer, CEO of Merchandising Frontiers, Inc. (MFI), a Winterset, Iowa-based kiosk creator, several criteria factor into kiosk design. For one, firms must consider the architectural design, style and colors of the mall so that the units look like permanent mall fixtures. Other concerns include fire and building codes; space allocation; height/line of sight; security; lighting; electrical accessibility; inventory/merchandise storage; product merchandising; mobility; and flexibility or modularity of design.

Mayer says the choice between developing a unique kiosk design for the merchandise and using a more general kiosk depends on the sophistication, experience and needs of the RMU buyer. For instance, those with no experience in leasing a space are typically interested in renting a pre-fab kiosk, while more experienced, well-funded retailers will design something entirely fresh and new.

Kiosks are not the answer for every retailer. Generally, an in-line store is the only, or at the least the most appropriate, selling venue for retailers with a lot of merchandise. Some merchandise simply lends itself better to kiosks. According to Mayer, successful kiosks hold small, impulse or seasonal buys, or merchandise that may need to be demonstrated.