So we already know Apple has pretty much redefined the way we live. The average citizen is pretty much dependent on their various pieces of technology now-a-days all of which, correct me if I’m wrong, has pretty much been influenced, expanded and inspired by the company Apple. Cell phone companies try to live up to the iPhone’s standards, newer tablets/e-readers are created to compete with the iPad. Computer companies try to outshine the Mac and etc, etc. No one is ever in the least bit surprised when Apple comes out with a new product and other technology related companies begin to create “dupes” for it, it’s just become a natural occurrence now-a-days. However, what does surprise me a little is that pretty soon non- technology related companies, such as regular grocery and clothing stores, are probably also going to start following suit and competing with Apple, in a vague sense. Yesterday, one of my friends decided to just randomly buy an iPod and took me with her to the Apple store. 5 minutes later, and not more than 2 steps inside the store, she walked out with a brand new iPod. All we had to do was tell the guy we wanted an iPod, he took us to the iPod table, where she used a display iPod to figure what storage size she wanted and then the associate typed some things into what seemed to be an iPhone. Two minutes later, another guy came out with a brand new iPod, the associate slid my friends card in to his iPhone seeming device, she signed with her finger on that device and we were ready to go, just like that. No walking to the register, scanning everything, or waiting for our associate to go search for our product! It was all just done on that one spot, conveniently, considering the store was really crowded and hard to maneuver through. I wish things were that simple in the store I worked at. . .
I don’t know about the rest of you, but to me that seemed the like perfect shopping experience: it was as if I had the convenience of online shopping – no extra moving around, all the details conveniently located on a screen, etc. – plus the convenience of regular shopping- not having to wait a couple of weeks for my product to arrive, still being able to accurately judge the size & etc. I work in a clothing store, and boy is it a pain when I have to go back and fix rack after rack of clothing because people for some reason can’t determine what to buy unless it’s in an uncivilized manner. Or maybe it’s just because it’s kind of hard to see exactly what a top looks like on rack unless you hold it up. . . but regardless. It’d be great if clothing stores could work in a similar manner. I know for a fact they’re not far off from getting there. When I worked at Sears, the tools department started to use this technique, in which they used large iPads for customers to select all the products they wanted/needed and a sales associate would review it with them and go around pulling them. When I worked at Macy’s housewares, if a customer wanted a specific item and they didn’t know where it was located, I could pull it up on my register, by typing in descriptions of the product, the customer & I could go through the images listed by my search until we find the right one. The register would go as far as telling me if we had anymore in stock, and listed a picture of the product so I could easily locate it, and customers didn’t have to rummage through things, messing up my shelves. Hopefully other retailers, including the one I work with now (DEB) will catch up as well, making things easier for both the associates and the customers.