Eric Long

Apple Retail Store Purchase Process

I love Apple products and the Apple retail store. The checkout process however, needs some work.

Unless you are getting help from an Apple retail associate, the store is not really setup for someone who just wants to go in and buy a product. The lack of a line of registers is a novel idea and by giving each associate their own iPod Touch / credit card scanner device, you have no need for the checkout line bottleneck.

Checkout/Cash Registers Provide a Destination for Paying

However, there is something natural about a line of checkout/cash registers — you know where to go when it’s time to purchase. You don’t feel like you are interrupting an associate who’s floating around the store. You know the person behind the register is there for one reason and one reason only:  pay them your money for a product off the shelf.

Self/Expert Checkout

Since I do most of my product research online before heading to the Apple store, I walk in knowing exactly what I want. I end up spending the majority of my time wandering aimlessly trying to snatch up an Apple associate before the next uneducated shopper occupies them for the next 15 minutes with questions.

I’d love the ability to self-checkout at the retail store. Or some other means for getting an associate’s attention that signals them that I’m ready to buy.

If this were an e-commerce site…

Checkout is perhaps the most critical component of an e-commerce site. It’s the make-or-break moment for your customer in the shopping process. Frustrate them and they will bail.

4 Responses

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  1. @MommyBrain
    @MommyBrain February 2, 2011 at 11:29 pm |

    I totally agree. I was very lucky the one time I needed to make a purchase when I visited the NYC 6th Ave store. I'm not sure, but it could have been because I was rolling a laptop bag around full of stuff… that caught their attention… But when I've gone to our (sorta) local store up in Raleigh, it takes forever to grab someone to check out… I think the trick may be to stand at the shelf where the product is that you want, or stare at the most expensive item in the store.. and just stare blankly. Someone is bound to come ask if you need help…
    Hubby says to just start unplugging one of the demo models and see if that makes it any faster.

    All seriousness, Yes, They do need an express lane of sorts for current Apple users or folks that know exactly what they want. It would make things a whole lot fast. Just call it a Consumer Genius Check out Counter… or something that makes us look smart.

  2. @obed
    @obed February 2, 2011 at 11:46 pm |

    I have the Apple Store app on my iPhone and it has an option for me to "see a specialist". When I select that option it summons a specialist to help me out almost instantly. I think that if everyone was aware of this process, the Apple Retail Store experience would be perfect.

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