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.
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.