Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Apple Store has plenty of iPad in the Store: Display not Stock

If you are in the market for the iPad 2 and have visited a store in hopes of finding one, you may he delighted that Apple in adding more iPads to their store. If you enter an Apple store today, you might be excited to see iPads everywhere. There are iPads on nearly every table. iPads are stationed on the table next to the iPhones, next to the iMac computers, next to the Mac Books and yes, even next to the iPads.
Brooks_iPadThese extra iPads are not for sell, but are part of what is being called Apple Store 2.0. It is part of an Apple store initiative to replace all paper and cardboard advertising and product information boards with Apple iPads.

The iPad serves as a product information kiosks for each electronic gadget made by Apple. When you walk up to the iPhone table, the accompanying iPad provides additional information about the iPhone 4. If the iPad doesn't provide enough information you can use the iPad to request that a genius be dispatched to your specific device. Each device is assigned to a device and send specific location and product information in the request. This allows a genius to come find you and be readied to discuss the particular product.
This is a great idea on a few different levels. It is very eco-friendly. Not only does it eliminate the need to constantly print and place information cards, but gives each potential buyer personal service. It allows customers to be queued and allows the customer to get the best person for the product dispatched.

The natural side-effect or benefit is that it allows the patrons to experience the iPad even though they may not have entered the store to "play" with the iPad, but rather to buy or inquire about other products.
The bad thing is that Apple implemented it during a period when iPads are in high demand, but while the iPad is un very short supply. When I was in the store today, there was a man looking to buy a 16GB Wifi only iPad. He was told by a genius, who appeared with a 16GB 3G\Wifi device on the Verizon network instead of a 16GB Wifi only device, that he sought was unavailable. He explained to the customer that the 3G version had wifi too and that the service could be cancelled without penalty and any time and right from the device. He even offered to show him how to access the settings app to cancel the service. For someone that don't work on commission, he sure handled the situation with no intent of letting him leave without a sale despite not getting what he actually wanted and paying at least $130 more to do so.

While this all looked like a pressure-free and friendly exchange, I couldn't help think that man not only paid $130 more for the 3G device, but also a month of service charge as well. The genius explained that he could come in an exchange the device for wifi only device within 14 days.

As I watched the man walk out of the store with his purchase in his hand, I could not help but look at all the 16GB iPads sitting on the tables acting as sales kiosks instead of being sold to the customers that obviously sought to buy them . As the iPads literally lit up his path to the exit, I couldn't help but think he could have had what he wanted (and for less money) if these new kiosks weren't using what he needed to buy.

By Carl W. Brooks

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