Retailers could take a few lessons from Apple!
Yesterday, I did some shopping at the Apple Store in the Burlington Mall, and the checkout line was “healthy”. Many people are buying the new iPod Nano’s, iMac’s, and MacBook computers this season, and The Apple Store was packed. The employee’s of the Apple Store are very energetic, and eager to help you out. But, where Apple shines above the other stores I visited, was the time to checkout. They had four cashiers going, and the line wrapped around a few times, and I thought I was in for a good wait. Not at Apple! No waits here. They had another three people, with handheld barcode readers, that can be used for checking people out in the line. So, as long as you can pay with credit or debit, one of these people could take you aside, and check you out! You also had the choice of a printed receipt, or an email receipt. Being a geek, I chose for the emailed receipt, which would make things easier to keep track of, should someone want to return something. No worrying about where the receipt is, as it is in an email folder on my computer, which I can access from any computer.
These handheld barcode devices probably cost $2500 or so, but speed up the number of customers your store can handle by a lot. Not too mention, the happiness the customer gets when they are not waiting in line for a half hour. Apple has a knack for seeking out the most common sense ways of doing things, and that mantra is echoed right down to how stores operate. I thought that my MacBook Pro, with it’s magnetic, break away power cord was ingenious, and made some much sense, and then I saw how the Apple Store operates during busy season, and it shows how Apple thinks through every step that a consumer experiences with a purchase, which leads to repeat business. I know I am going back! I just wish the store was bigger, and had even more choices.
Being a devote Mac Addict, The Apple Store is the only place I visit now, when it comes to computer needs. They have everything I need, and the buying experience is second to none. The Apple Store simply rocks! Nobody can compare.