By: Hillel Fuld
This is truly an amazing story, even if only half of it is accurate. If you are reading the Jobs bio or if you are familiar with the man and the company he built, you probably know that Jobs truly revolutionized several industries. Seven, to be exact. I am referring to personal computing, digital music, mobile technology, tablet computing, music, animated films, and software distribution. Add to that the TV industry, which according to rumors, will change as a result of some of the work Jobs did at the end of his life.
Well, according to BGR, this Thursday Apple is expected to release a new iOS app that, in my opinion, is just as revolutionary as any of the inventions mentioned above. No, I am not kidding.
The new app, being referred to the Apple Retail Store app (something tells me that will not be the name Apple gives it) will first and foremost allow customers to order Apple products on their iOS device and pick them up in Apple stores. That functionality is already available in some California and New York stores but starting this Thursday many more U.S stores will support it as well. But that is not it, not even close.
So here it goes, this will blow your mind! The following are some of the new features supported by the upcoming Apple retail app that will surely revolutionize retail shopping and will encourage other companies to follow in Apple’s footsteps. By the way, these features are so convenient that I am not exaggerating when I say that I think more people will buy iPhones just to be able to use this app. It is that good.
- Say Goodbye to Lines with a 12 Minute Pickup: So here is how it is going to go down. You launch the new iOS app and order a shiny new iPad or Macbook. You wait 12 minutes, then walk into the store to which you ordered it, walk right by the 300 person line and collect the new purchased Apple product. Without waiting.
Of course, someone has to prepare the Macbook for you so from the time you press Send on the order until you have it in your hands, you have to wait 12 minutes.
Those 12 minutes, as BGR explains, are spent as follows.”Well, the order goes through the system to the designated Apple Store in about 3 minutes. Apple’s back-of-house employees have 2 minutes to set all of the products aside on a shelf from the minute it was ordered. There is then a 7-minute grace period for employees to get everything else in order.”
How awesome is that? You order something on your phone, wait 12 minutes, and the product is yours.
- No More Package Tracking, Push Notifications Galore: So now imagine you want to order an engraved iPad or some other personalized gadget, something Apple obviously does not have in-store ready within 12 minutes, the process is just as easy with a little more waiting time. You place the order from the app, and are given a pick-up date on the screen. Shipping to all Apple stores is free and as soon as your product arrives, boom, your device sends you a push notification that your product is waiting for you.
Once you get that notification, can you guess how long you have to wait till you can get the item in your hands? Yes, 12 minutes. I don’t know about you but getting such a notification is going to replace the feeling I get when I see the “In Transit” message on the Fedex website telling me my Apple product is on the way. Very much looking forward to that.
- Walk In, Take your Product, Walk Out: To me, this is the coolest feature of all. Using the new app, you can walk into an Apple store, see something you want, open the app, scan it and the app processes the payment itself using your credit card associated with your Apple ID. Then you can walk out of the store with your new device without ever having to say one word to an Apple representative or having to wait one second, or 12 minutes to get your new toy. How is that for instant gratification?
According to BGR’s source, ”customers who opt to purchase online or through the app will be given priority when they walk into the store over a customer waiting for a retail specialist, and that Apple expects the majority of customers over the next few years to use the in-store pick up option as their default method of buying products. This will help with foot traffic in retail stores while also reducing the cost of shipping for Apple, and possibly even reducing the number of stores Apple needs to open to accommodate sales.”
Of course, Apple will allow customers who buy via the app to return items as well, and the self check out feature will launch worldwide this Thursday along with the app.
Not only will this new initiative lower costs for Apple, it will increase customer satisfaction significantly (as if Apple fanboys didn’t love the brand enough as it is) and will surely have other retail giants thinking about taking on such a project. I, for one, hope this story is true, even if only some of the features are accurate, this, in my opinion, and at the risk of using the R word too much, is a true revolution in retail shopping.