Published on: January 10, 2013
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Hi, I'm Kevin Coupe and this is FaceTime with the Content Guy.
There's nothing like going into a store and having a moment of delight and surprise. That's what happened to me the other day, and go figure, it happened at the Apple Store.
The funny thing is, it had nothing to do with the products. Or the Genius Bar.
It actually had to do with checking out.
Now, Apple has for a long time had no central checkout counter. Instead, t-shirted employees are all equipped with iPhones and they use those to check people out. It can be very efficient, especially on crowded days.
But it got even better the other day.
I was in the Apple Store, picking up chargers for my iPhone and iPad. No matter how careful I am with them, it always seems like they are vanishing. I knew what I was looking for and the layout of the store, so it took me about 30 seconds to navigate my way through the crowd and grab the small white boxes I needed.
I found a nearby Apple employee and asked him if he would check me out. He grinned, and said, "I can. But you really don't need me to if you have an iPhone.
Which, of course, I did.
And then he showed me how, by using the Apple Store app on my phone, I could check myself out by scanning the bar codes on the boxes, email myself a receipt, and go on my merry way without even talking to an employee.
Now, they must have some sort of security system, with random checks at the front door, to make sure they are not being stolen blind. I asked the fellow about that, and he seemed pretty confident that shrink wasn't going to be a problem. I also think the system works only for relatively low-cost stuff - I wasn't going to be able to use self checkout for, say, a laptop computer. Which makes sense.
It was just a very cool moment, and yet another illustration of how far the retailing experience has come, and how consumers are being empowered by retailers that are trying to find new and delightful ways to accomplish old procedures.
I loved it. Can't wait to try it again.
That's what is on my mind this Thursday morning. As always, I want to hear what is on your mind.
- KC's View: