or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Apple Stores to use new Concierge app for customer check-ins
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Apple Stores to use new Concierge app for customer check-ins

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Apple retail stores will soon launch a new wireless check-in service that will allow employees to manage a queue of customers using a custom iOS app called Concierge, according to a new report.

Mac Stories reports that the new service went live for Apple Store employees on Monday morning. The Concierge app will send a push notification to employees when a customer uses an iOS device to check in to the Apple Store, wrote author Cody Fink.

From the app, employees will be able to monitor an 'iQueue' with a list of currently waiting customers and their respective check-in times. Store managers will also take advantage of a new app called Scout that will allow them to assign room-by-room check-in locations for "accurate, close proximity check-ins." Scout is designed to be a one-use application for "initial set-up of Apple's location based services," the report noted.

Photos obtained by Mac Stories show the rumored Concierge app in action. Although the "iQueue" waiting list image appears to be a mock-up, as the display reads iPod despite clearly having an iPhone 4 body, Fink posted an update clarifying that he received the screenshots without the iPhone 4 frames and "used a utility to wrap these images for presentation." The Concierge application should work on both in-store iPod touch and iPhone devices. Apple currently uses an "EasyPay touch" system in its stores, combining custom software, an iPod touch, a magnetic stripe reader and advanced barcode scanner.



According to the report, Apple will update its Apple Store application to send a push notification as customers enter the store asking them to check in. The app will then notify customers of their position in line and send a photo of the employee who will help them.



Although Mac Stories is unsure exactly when these new features will roll out to customers, the updates will likely come "soon," Fink wrote. According to the report, "Apple Store managers were flown in and treated to the initial location based concept" at a recent conference in Los Angeles, Calif.

Sources told AppleInsider last November that Apple was developing a Concierge application for its retail stores but did not provide a release date for the app.

As Apple continues to innovate with its retail stores, the company's retail strategy remains highly successful, bringing in a record $3.5 billion in sales last quarter, up 75 percent year-over-year. With 317 stores worldwide as of the end of September, average revenue per store for the quarter was $11.8 million, up 52 percent from last year.

"We see great opportunity to continue our retail growth," Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer said of the coming fiscal year during the company's fourth fiscal quarter 2010 earnings call last week. Apple expects to open 40 to 50 stores in the next year, with more than half of them overseas.
post #2 of 26
Brilliant! It's all about the Apple Eco-System! Baby! Cradle to grave!
post #3 of 26
Looks like the "Store" is going to "know" when you arrive? Am I right?

Quick question, I thought I heard of an App (based on GPS) that would automatically put your phone on vibrate if you walked into a movie theatre, library, meeting room, etc. With your permission, course! anyone else hear of this?

Best
post #4 of 26
Will this work for getting a table at a restaurant?
Cubist
Reply
Cubist
Reply
post #5 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by city View Post

Will this work for getting a table at a restaurant?

Good idea, City! I've said it many times on these boards, (mainly referring to large companies) that they all should be trying to "hitch their wagon to Apple!" Instead of fighting Apple. Verizon, NBC, HBO, Movie industry, Music Industry, Television Industry, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Yoko Ono, or as I like to refer to her, "Oh know," Yoko!, etc.,

I never thought of individual restaurant chains...but imagine if PF Changs developed an App for exactly that....I think they would get some notice!

Best!
post #6 of 26
Apple has been using Concierge since 2007. This is not new. It went mobile in 2009 and has just been getting new features as time goes on. Anyone who has been to an Apple Store has observed Specialists using iPod Touches and now iPads. Nothing new... Just improved.
post #7 of 26
Sure could have used the latest implementation of this on my last visit. I got kind of lost in the shuffle. Would have been nice to have some positive acknowledgement that I was in the store and being attended to, if only electronically.

Agree with Chris and others that this could be dynamite as a general retail feature for other chains. Hope Apple is pushing this beyond its own needs.
A.k.a. AppleHead on other forums.
Reply
A.k.a. AppleHead on other forums.
Reply
post #8 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

I thought I heard of an App (based on GPS) that would automatically put your phone on vibrate if you walked into a movie theatre, library, meeting room, etc. With your permission, course! anyone else hear of this?

Mmm... no, I don't think so. Those core phone functions would not be available for app developers.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply
post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

Good idea, City! I've said it many times on these boards, (mainly referring to large companies) that they all should be trying to "hitch their wagon to Apple!" Instead of fighting Apple. Verizon, NBC, HBO, Movie industry, Music Industry, Television Industry, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Yoko Ono, or as I like to refer to her, "Oh know," Yoko!, etc.,

I never thought of individual restaurant chains...but imagine if PF Changs developed an App for exactly that....I think they would get some notice!

Best!

Or a universal App that works at "all" restaurants.
Cubist
Reply
Cubist
Reply
post #10 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

Sure could have used the latest implementation of this on my last visit. I got kind of lost in the shuffle. Would have been nice to have some positive acknowledgement that I was in the store and being attended to, if only electronically.

Agree with Chris and others that this could be dynamite as a general retail feature for other chains. Hope Apple is pushing this beyond its own needs.

Imagine this implemented at Disneyland! No more lines waiting for rides... special rendezvous locations for secret Disney tours or prizes... the possibilities are endless. Steve should be all over this.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply
post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by city View Post

Or a universal App that works at "all" restaurants.

First of all, "all" restaurants should have free Wi-Fi. Secondly, people with iPhones, iPod touches and iPads should receive preferential treatment. That would bring 'em in.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply
post #12 of 26
The "iQueue"... Good one Apple!

I would have never thought of that! </sarcasm>

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

Reply

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

Reply
post #13 of 26
What's wrong with just taking a number?
post #14 of 26
Oh no ... what will all the twenty people that have Zunes do ...?!?!

They can update their status on their Kin I guess ...
post #15 of 26
An app that knows when you walk through the store doors? And sends you pictures of Apple Employees? So much for privacy . . .
post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

First of all, "all" restaurants should have free Wi-Fi.

I'm sorry man, but I completely disagree. I can't believe how dependent people have become on Wi-Fi/3G/EDGE capable devices. They have essentially become a replacement for or a distraction from face-to-face interactions. Restaurants are (usually) supposed to be social environments and if you take yourself out of the present company to "check your e-mail" or "go on facebook", you're sending a bad message to your company: "You're not as interesting as this-guy-who-I've-never-met-before-in-person's status update."

It's very frustrating when people place more importance on incoming text messages and phone calls than the people around them. I don't know how it is now in the US (since I've been living in Europe for the past two years), but it's pretty bad here.

One time I went with a friend to meet up with this group of chicks we knew at a bar and when we showed up, there were 5 girls at the table and 5 cell phones on the table. I was about to tell them "If you're so bored with each other, why not just go home?"
Excuse me. Um. I'm actually supposed to be getting out of jail.
Reply
Excuse me. Um. I'm actually supposed to be getting out of jail.
Reply
post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

The "iQueue"... Good one Apple!

I would have never thought of that! </sarcasm>

It's a mockup.
post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Not_Sure View Post

One time I went with a friend to meet up with this group of chicks we knew at a bar and when we showed up, there were 5 girls at the table and 5 cell phones on the table. I was about to tell them "If you're so bored with each other, why not just go home?"

post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

What's wrong with just taking a number?

No kidding. All this keep-track-of-your-every-movement is beyond creepy.

On one hand, it's neat and clever that it can be done. But SHOULD it be done?

Slowly but surely people are being lured into handing over their lives to a handful of very large corporations. Apple may be better than the others as far as privacy goes, but it's all trending toward a very dangerous future. And if it's not curtailed it will become more difficult for "regular folks" to do their basic business. I'm sure as hell not going to turn on location tracking just to get waited on in a store or restaurant!
No Matte == No Sale :-(
Reply
No Matte == No Sale :-(
Reply
post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abrilon View Post

Apple has been using Concierge since 2007. This is not new. It went mobile in 2009 and has just been getting new features as time goes on. Anyone who has been to an Apple Store has observed Specialists using iPod Touches and now iPads. Nothing new... Just improved.

At my Apple store recently, I have been disappointed that I have NOT seen a Specialist near the door to put your name on a list if you were just popping in. It seems like they have been getting sucked further into the store to help customers too. I guess they don't have enough sales staff.
post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abrilon View Post

Apple has been using Concierge since 2007. This is not new. It went mobile in 2009 and has just been getting new features as time goes on.

Yes and this is a new set of features. Very needed ones at some stores. And apparently ones that roll today based on the notes from the update to the Apple Stores App that I just downloaded.

My local stores are always swamped so I welcome this, although the photo thing is a tad creepy to me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

What's wrong with just taking a number?

this is "just taking a number" but electronically. Thus paperless and part of that 'better for the environment' talk. Plus it comes with a paging system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blursd View Post

Oh no ... what will all the twenty people that have Zunes do ...?!?!

I'm sure there's a way for them to add folks by hand. For those folks, and the ones coming in to buy their first iThing, or having what they have repaired.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phylinca View Post

An app that knows when you walk through the store doors?

If I understand the notes correctly, it will detect that you are in a store and ask you if you want help. if you say no, nothing else happens. If you say yes, it walks you through setting up your spot on the appropriate list etc.

so it is not just going to put you on some alert and track you around. You have to do it.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

Reply

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

Reply
post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Not_Sure View Post

I'm sorry man, but I completely disagree. I can't believe how dependent people have become on Wi-Fi/3G/EDGE capable devices. They have essentially become a replacement for or a distraction from face-to-face interactions. Restaurants are (usually) supposed to be social environments and if you take yourself out of the present company to "check your e-mail" or "go on facebook", you're sending a bad message to your company: "You're not as interesting as this-guy-who-I've-never-met-before-in-person's status update."

It's very frustrating when people place more importance on incoming text messages and phone calls than the people around them. I don't know how it is now in the US (since I've been living in Europe for the past two years), but it's pretty bad here.

One time I went with a friend to meet up with this group of chicks we knew at a bar and when we showed up, there were 5 girls at the table and 5 cell phones on the table. I was about to tell them "If you're so bored with each other, why not just go home?"

I just want an efficient way of putting my name on a list in a crowded restaurant. Such an App could estimate my wait time, know if I bail and allow me to impatiently check the wait status. With regard to being tracked by an establishment, get accustom to it, that already happens. The information isn't intended to invade privacy. Annoying, but it's used to better serve a customer such as when you buy an item in the market and then receive a recall notice for that item (after you consumed it, of course).
Cubist
Reply
Cubist
Reply
post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

What's wrong with just taking a number?

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

this is "just taking a number" but electronically. Thus paperless and part of that 'better for the environment' talk. Plus it comes with a paging system.

Geez, you're missing the entire point. No, it's NOT the same as taking a number. Taking a paper number out of a dispenser does not in any way relate your visit to you as an individual and track your physical location, repeated visits to a particular store(s), etc.

Just remember, there is virtually no legislation in place to prevent abuse of this kind of data. What constitutes abuse isn't even defined. Eventually, over many years I expect those things will slowly become defined, but until then it's worth considering what the worst-case scenarios look like, because those are what will arise.
No Matte == No Sale :-(
Reply
No Matte == No Sale :-(
Reply
post #24 of 26
I have an appointment at my local Apple Store Genius Bar today, and I just updated the Apple Store app on my iPhone 4. I'll see how this works in a few hours, maybe.

(Need new rubber feet for my 1st-gen unibody MB Pro, but am not too hopeful about getting replacements at the Apple Store...)

Sent from my iPhone Simulator

Reply

Sent from my iPhone Simulator

Reply
post #25 of 26
Good that the Concierge app has been updated to streamline operations at the Apple Stores (it gets pretty hectic in there).

Expanding it so restaurants can use it to track wait times is cool, but really, aren't you going for dinner for some R&R and to detach? Shut the phone off and have a good dinner.



PS. Any reason why the Apple Store app isn't available on the Canadian app store?
post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abrilon View Post

Apple has been using Concierge since 2007. This is not new.

It was fine as a web page. Why does it have to be one more thing to download?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Discussion
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Apple Stores to use new Concierge app for customer check-ins