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Tomorrow Apple will launch their new Apple Store app for iOS owners to download and it is set to revolutionise the way we shop for our Apple products and Apple’s whole retail arm at the same time.
The new app has two major features that will cause a stir. Firstly, it will enable online ordering for in-store pick-up. On its own, not groundbreaking. But check this out.
If you order an in-stock item online you’ll be able to pick it up at your local Apple Store just TWELVE minutes later. From what I read, that’s an Apple promise. That’s three minutes for your order to be routed to your nearest store, two minutes for an employee to set it aside and seven minutes for everything else to be sorted out. 12 minutes and the item is yours to sign for and take away, bypassing the queues and the tills.
Sweet, right. And if your item isn’t in stock? You’ll be given a pick-up date as soon as your order is placed and once it’s in, you’ll get Push Notification telling you so. As soon as you get that notification the same 12 minute turnaround is expected from the Apple employees in your chosen store.
If you order online or through the app you will be given priority over walk-in customers and, in addition, you’ll be given the choice of returning orders made through the app to a retail store of your choice.
Oh, and all shipping is free.
This is customer service at its best. It is not, however, what makes the app itself so special. No, that’s the second killer feature. Customer self checkout.
All you’ll have to do is find the item you want, such as an accessory, launch the Apple Store app which will give you the option to buy in-store, scan the product using the camera on your iPhone or iPad, click purchase and walk right out the store. Whichever credit card is associated with your Apple ID will be charged. And according to BGR.com, Apple won’t even be checking purchases, which seems incredibly trusting, but I assume there will be some kind of security in place.
All of this sounds absolutely fantastic if you’re an Apple customer and it is. However, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that the self checkout option will launch worldwide on tomorrow when the app becomes available to download. The bad news is that the online ordering for in-store pick-up is, for now, a US-only option.
Us here in the UK and elsewhere will still have to wait for the delivery man, at least for now. Ho-hum.