November 2, 2011
Earlier this week news broke about Apple’s new self-checkout service arriving this week at Apple Retail Stores. Today, new information about how this process will work has arrived, courtesy of BGR. According to the report, a new Apple Retail app will arrive Thursday in the App Store and serve two purposes. First, it will enable online ordering with retail store pick up. While this feature is already available in select stores in California and New York City, the app will bring the functionality to other App Retail Stores as well. When products are ordered in this fashion, the customer is able to make their pickup within 12 minutes of completing the order. This means “customers will be able to walk into the Apple Store, skip lines, skip registers, get their products, sign for them and leave. We’re told Apple is really excited about this, and it’s something customers have been seeking for a while.” When ordering items that are out of stock, customers will receive a push notification that will arrive when the item is available for pickup. In this scenario, again, the item is available 12 minutes after the push notification is sent. Why 12 minutes?
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.The Apple Retail app’s second feature is also its most interesting: self-checkout. To purchase something using this option, simply scan the product with your iPhone’s camera using the app. Since the app is tied directly to your Apple ID, you’ll be charged for your purchase and you’ll be on your way. Yes, simply grab the item and leave the store. Interesting, huh? Are you excited about these new Apple Retail Store offerings? Let us know by using the comments below.