As a former employee, one thing that customers enjoyed the most was the set-up process. As you said, many Apple store visitors are non-tech savvy. They love the experience of getting the box on the spot, and us bringing them over to the set-up table. They get all their immediate questions answered, and they walk out of the store with a working phone, with all their valued information being restored in the background. That's the key. That has to stay otherwise it complicates the user experience.
More stores in larger communities and in a broader spectrum of commnities would be useful. Some smaller communities that are hubs for large populations where interested persons would not have to travel 70+ miles to visit a store. Example: Mt Pleasant, MI., home of a University-20,000- a large outlying population and have within 50 miles other towns with higher education institutions.
Here's a thought! How about supporting the independent repair industry! Apple has been kicking it enough.
Or, at least open service only sites in office buildings or smaller storefronts. Thats if they really want to own the repair.
I have an Apple store about 15 miles from me, but I have never felt the need to go there. And my family has a ton of Apple gear. I have always researched and, for the most part, purchased online. Same goes for support, the hardware is rock solid when taken care of, so never needed a repair.
Half the time I (belatedly) go to an Apple store it is choc-a-bloc full of people checking Facebook or email.
There are times when we need a device right away. Luckily, in Manhattan, I can get an iPad delivered next day. But I would love to send an intern to the store with my CC where they could poke a few buttons and get an iPad from a vending machine.
Apple increasingly commodotizes their devices: why not dispense them similarly?
Yes it’s a great problem to have. But it is still a problem. A problem even one that is nice to have is something that needs to be fixed. For now it will be a problem that’s nice to have but eventually it’s going to be a problem that’s going to undermine things. I live in the St. Louis Metro area and have been going to Apple stores here since the day they opened. Both stores have gotten larger over the years and nonetheless more crowded and my experience in going to the stores over the years has definitely gone down hill. It’s time to do something I don’t know whether it’s just open more of the same stores or maybe it’s open more stores with different kinds of focus but something has to be done this is just ridiculous. I only wish I knew how we get the word to Apple and put the pressure on them to do something
Windows stores are almost always empty, maybe you are suggesting Apple employ that business model? Personally I find complaining about success to be a little obnoxious. In the times I have used the Apple stores, I have loved them. I make an appointment when I need appointments and it works well. Even after a whiner told me I couldn't get an appointment for three weeks, I scheduled one on the web site the next day and it was fine.
I would say that one appointment was for "running better diagnostics on a MacBook Pro". well it turns out, that the power on diagnostics are the same test used by the Apple staff and if the web sites were clearer, I could have saved my time and theirs. But five year old MBP, still running and the battery is still in great shape.
Just come to Leeds, it is usually very quiet, except maybe on the week-end.
More stores would be nice indeed. But I don’t think that is an option for Apple.
Angela Ahrendts carefully crafted & transformed their retail stores into some kind of high-end butiques like her previous achievement, Burberry. So, opening up more stores would go against the premium image of the brand. After all, Apple wouldn’t want to look like M&S or Walmart, would they?
Apple has always been big on projecting their charismatic image. Initially, as the antidote to the “majority” as if they were the savior or lone-wolf radical against Wintel with a hint of glass-root, hippy twist. Now it’s become something like Hermes, Chanel - trend-setting, precious, prestigious. You surely get the price for it!
I guess it’s time for them to reinvent their image for survival. Or for faster fix, they could make that Apple logo bigger and more visible on their products, like Karl Lagerfeld did to Chanel! LOL.
1.) Sounds like a a First World problem.
2.) Any competitor would love to have this problem.
3.) How do you make a store seem less crowded?? C’Mon!?
I completely agree with Paul and a few of the other customers: segregating the store into different departments would make a HUGE difference.
If I could make 2 changes they would be:
1) set up a handful of kiosks at the front & an iBeacon-driven web-app for self check-in. (I typically stand in line for 5+ minutes just to tell the Apple employee I’m there) Or do something more radical like letting my ‘apple wallet’ pickup/service card (part of my online-order delivery notification) automatically check me in when I arrive.
2. Create a tiny, dedicated pick-up room with exceptionally fast service - it could even be a totally automated experience by doing something like: verifying my identity with my iPhone faceID authentication + driver’s license scanning on a robotic locker system (like Amazon lockers). Since I can’t ask a question of a locker or expect it to assist me, the online-order/pickup experience would be WAY more efficient. I could even walk in, play with a device, order from my phone (or directly from the device I’m testing), and pickup at a locker without ever talking to an employee.
I wouldn’t know. We don’t have an Apple store in my country.
Apple could take some less radical steps that would make the stores more efficient. One example is when something is ordered online for store pickup, the current process is the same as walking into the store and buying one. Instead, have a pickup only area - 2 minutes in and out and keep those picking up out of the flow of those waiting for appointments or more detailed sales help. Another option - same day delivery. If Amazon can do it, Apple sure can.
Another thought is redesign the store displays - they look good when the store is empty - but the display tables take up a lot of space and could be designed much more efficiently if customer flow and not design appeal were the priority.
Finally - should better sound management and better AC flow. The stores are acoustically noisy and almost all of them smell like a gym locker when they're busy. Some of the new stores are a little better, but there a 4 stores close to my home and a few of them I won't go in just because they have such poor ventilation.
I am 150 miles by bus from the nearest store in Oregon USA
And most of the state by area is even further while there are several stores in Portland
Apple retail stores can be very crowded at times, namely weekends and during certain holiday seasons. You can avoid all of that by not going to a store for some things. The employees manage the crowds quite well, actually. When you walk in, you're greeted by a triage person to get you a person for help, or to point you to the product(s) you want to see. Most of the floor staff are dedicated to picking up tasks from the triage person. There are a handful of employees on the floor roaming to help the lost/confused/overwhelmed customer. Another set of employees are the product gophers for the items in backroom storage. I've walked in on a super-crowded Saturday afternoon with the (unnecessary) intent of only getting a free SIM card. I was helped right away, my dedicated staff person waited with me after she ordered the SIM card, and a separate person brought the SIM card out of the backroom to hand it over.
I have better luck going into an Apple Store for service. The website offers a small percentage of the times available, most of the slots are reserved for walk in traffic. Last month, I could have waited a week for a time according to the website. Instead, I just showed up and was helped by the Genius Bar within 30 minutes. There are some times that I don't mind the week-long wait, and will opt for the online reservation instead. It is a balance, and I think they are doing the best they can to help a broad range.
"The number of people coming for service is clearly not met with the current design." Agreed. The stores should be set up to more clearly separate sales from service, like a car dealership.
I’d like more stores even if they were as crowded as the existing ones because of the convenience of having locations closer to me. I have homes in two states. At one I have a 25 minute drive to the store in moderate traffic; at my other home it’s a 40 minute drive — or more than an hour during rush hour.
I think they need to redesign the stores. The number of people coming for service is clearly not met with the current design. Set up a new wall in the back for service customers, so they have space to sit or stand out of the shopping area.
I have the luxury of going to our nearest Apple store (10 minutes by car) at non-busy times - mid morning during the week. So for me, this is a non-issue.
I totally agree. I live in suburb of Phillie and I have to drive 30 min to closest apple store. I live in town of 53,000 people and no apple store closer then 30 min. The one in Princeton area which I’m closest is always out of products or too long for appointment so I usually have to drive 45 min to an hour for most of my products and support. Would welcome more apple stores.
With the Apple Store app and the Apple Support app you can pretty much get any help with questions / problems, as well as purchases you need. If only customers would learn to use it.