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Old Navy piloting Apple's iOS EasyPay retail software

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
Apple has launched a pilot of its EasyPay custom mobile retail software in a trial with Gap subsidiary Old Navy, opening a new market for the iPod touch in handheld payment transactions. [Update: This third-party report is erroneous, see here.]

Apple began using EasyPay mobile retail terminals in its own stores back in 2005, originally using Windows CE devices running off the shelf Point Of Sale software. The program was deemed a success, even as employees characterized the devices as "are huge old ugly pieces of junk" that were frustrating to use.

Last year however, the company transitioned its retail staff to more reliable and easier to use iPod touch units, fit into a sled that provided a bar code scanner and credit card reader and running a custom iOS app.

This holiday season, Apple is working with the Gap to roll out the same units in its Old Navy apparel stores, according to a report. The site said a Gap spokesperson confirmed that it "was piloting Apple's iPod-based POS system at a few of our Old Navy stores."

Apple's iOS-based EasyPay package is reportedly being branded "ZipCheck," and is designed to print receipts wirelessly to retail store printers at fixed locations in the store, or to belt-mounted mini printers that retail employees can wear.

Apple's use of EasyPay-equipped retail staff has enabled the company to handle large volumes of customers in its retail outlets efficiently and flexibly without long lines queuing up behind fixed registers. If the handheld devices take off for other retailers, it has the potential to change how retail stores are laid out and staffed and improve how well stores can manage spikes in demand related to holidays and other special events.
post #2 of 29
Very Cool

I wonder how big the market is...
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post #3 of 29
I work at Best Buy in Pittsburgh, PA. We are testing the "Connected Store", and any employee can carry(but doesnt have to, its the employees choice) a mobile POS, which happens to be those iPod Touch's with Barcode scanner and card swiper. We also have iPads without any POS software, just for searching SKU's for prices and inventory and such.
post #4 of 29
'Zipcheck' very interesting idea and totally doable. Seems like it will benefit everyone from the store to the customer and make a better shopping experience.
Naturally, security will be the key to this launch. However I would think that Apple has this down pat before testing.
post #5 of 29
Apple brick & mortar stores are one of my least favorite shopping experiences. I think it's hilarious how they have shop assistants standing under a "genius" sign. What's next, waiters getting the Nobel Prize?
post #6 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by 15inchbrich View Post

Very Cool

I wonder how big the market is...

The size of the potential market is huge. This sort of device could be useful in pretty much any retail store. The only question is whether the cost of deployment is worth the benifit. For a more service oriented retailer like Apple it almost certainly is. For a bulk retailer like Wal-Mart it probably isn't.
post #7 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mynameisjoe View Post

The size of the potential market is huge. This sort of device could be useful in pretty much any retail store. The only question is whether the cost of deployment is worth the benifit. For a more service oriented retailer like Apple it almost certainly is. For a bulk retailer like Wal-Mart it probably isn't.

yeah, it will definitely depend on the type of store. A boutique where you buy just a few items is a lot different to a place you go to fill a shopping trolley with 100 items. Can you imagine? ..."Let me help you with that sir... Oh, wait, you don't have your second, empty trolley, yet. Here's one. Now, I'll just scan each item and place it into your empty shopping cart..." Meanwhile, the store has become an impassable parking lot of shopping trolleys. Not to mention, people would be tempted to "top up" their trolleys on the way out the door.

Anyway, large retailers in UK, like Tescos, and IKEAs throughout Europe already have do-it-yourself check out options, where you scan stuff yourself and pay by card.

I think Apple's device would definitely be good for restaurants. I don't like it when they take my card out of my sight. I always want to follow them and make sure they are not scanning it a second time for cloning or something.
post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Apple brick & mortar stores are one of my least favorite shopping experiences. I think it's hilarious how they have shop assistants standing under a "genius" sign. What's next, waiters getting the Nobel Prize?

You should take an aspirin or two, it helps.
post #9 of 29
I love the concept and I think it could be taken even further in time. For example lets say I am at Best Buy and all the costumer service reps are busy assisting other people, but I want to pay for something. Well with an app I could sign in with my iphone and be put in line to be surved. Then using gps the costumer service rep could see my location in the store and come serve me when my turn in line came. This would allow me to continue looking around the store without having to wait in line. Obviously though there would have to be a way that you could cancel the gps connection once you were helped, so you cant be tracked without your permission.
post #10 of 29
Wow, the mods are pretty intense about people posting in the wrong thread. Just gunned him down mid sentence.
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post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by krabbelen View Post

yeah, it will definitely depend on the type of store. A boutique where you buy just a few items is a lot different to a place you go to fill a shopping trolley with 100 items. Can you imagine? ..."Let me help you with that sir... Oh, wait, you don't have your second, empty trolley, yet. Here's one. Now, I'll just scan each item and place it into your empty shopping cart..." Meanwhile, the store has become an impassable parking lot of shopping trolleys. Not to mention, people would be tempted to "top up" their trolleys on the way out the door.

Anyway, large retailers in UK, like Tescos, and IKEAs throughout Europe already have do-it-yourself check out options, where you scan stuff yourself and pay by card.

It's funny you say it might not work in a supermarket. You should try Waitrose. they have a similar system, where you swipe your card on entry (after registering with the store) and get a personal scanner. At the end of the shop, you hand the scanner to someone at a till which downloads the items from the scanner.

Very quick normally. They do the occasional spot check to make sure you are scanning all your items.
post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Apple brick & mortar stores are one of my least favorite shopping experiences. I think it's hilarious how they have shop assistants standing under a "genius" sign. What's next, waiters getting the Nobel Prize?

I agree. I actually cringed when I read this article because I am afraid other retailers will think this model is actually a better way to serve the consumer. At least in Arlington, VA the Apple stores are such a constant source of frustration that I do my best not to go in them. It is virtually impossible to go to the store to buy something. Think about that... a store where they make it hard to buy things. I have co-workers who have been told they need an appointment to purchase a computer. I have stood around the store for over fifteen minutes just trying to get someone's attention to buy a set of headphones. I finally got frustrated and went to Best Buy. While I admit that having your sales force on the floor and giving them more capability may be great, substituting this for an actual checkout area is disastrous. Don't even get me started about their so called "geniuses"...
post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by dralith View Post

I agree. I actually cringed when I read this article because I am afraid other retailers will think this model is actually a better way to serve the consumer. At least in Arlington, VA the Apple stores are such a constant source of frustration that I do my best not to go in them. It is virtually impossible to go to the store to buy something. Think about that... a store where they make it hard to buy things. I have co-workers who have been told they need an appointment to purchase a computer. I have stood around the store for over fifteen minutes just trying to get someone's attention to buy a set of headphones. I finally got frustrated and went to Best Buy. While I admit that having your sales force on the floor and giving them more capability may be great, substituting this for an actual checkout area is disastrous. Don't even get me started about their so called "geniuses"...



It's not April 1st you know! 'Best buy ... getting served fast' ... Oh my sides are aching.
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post #14 of 29
That really has little to do with the overall concept of Apple's Store or about it POS system. In the Ann Arbor Michigan, the Apple store is often very busy. If there was a check out line, it would wrap around the outside of the mail. With the current system, everybody in the store is capable of processing a order as opposed to one or two dedicated cashiers. That is more efficient. Sometimes I have to wait a minute for a sales associate to be done with somebody else. Not often though. Last week I went in to the store to get a gift card. THe associate at the front of the store used the iPod Touch thingy to ring me up. Very cool no going through a line.

I have heard of Apple making appointments to buy a computer if it currently is low on stock. Not in general though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dralith View Post

I agree. I actually cringed when I read this article because I am afraid other retailers will think this model is actually a better way to serve the consumer. At least in Arlington, VA the Apple stores are such a constant source of frustration that I do my best not to go in them. It is virtually impossible to go to the store to buy something. Think about that... a store where they make it hard to buy things. I have co-workers who have been told they need an appointment to purchase a computer. I have stood around the store for over fifteen minutes just trying to get someone's attention to buy a set of headphones. I finally got frustrated and went to Best Buy. While I admit that having your sales force on the floor and giving them more capability may be great, substituting this for an actual checkout area is disastrous. Don't even get me started about their so called "geniuses"...
post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by MAGXL200 View Post

I love the concept and I think it could be taken even further in time. For example lets say I am at Best Buy and all the costumer service reps are busy assisting other people, but I want to pay for something. Well with an app I could sign in with my iphone and be put in line to be surved. Then using gps the costumer service rep could see my location in the store and come serve me when my turn in line came. This would allow me to continue looking around the store without having to wait in line. Obviously though there would have to be a way that you could cancel the gps connection once you were helped, so you cant be tracked without your permission.

I think this is a great idea. Refine it a bit. A message hits your iphone app telling you you're next and proceed to counter 4 or service...or something like that.

On another note, I'm starting a food cart business and this will work great. On campus students use their ID cards, that double as debit cards, for purchases. I'm thinking use this along with a mifi/jailbroken iphone with mifi to take transactions live. Cash or credit, we can take both
post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Wow, the mods are pretty intense about people posting in the wrong thread. Just gunned him down mid sentence.


I just wish he'd remove ascii. His post is bordering trolling
post #17 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Apple brick & mortar stores are one of my least favorite shopping experiences. I think it's hilarious how they have shop assistants standing under a "genius" sign. What's next, waiters getting the Nobel Prize?

Nah, those are reserved for the likes of Al Gore.
post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Apple brick & mortar stores are one of my least favorite shopping experiences. I think it's hilarious how they have shop assistants standing under a "genius" sign. What's next, waiters getting the Nobel Prize?

You're such a dumb pessimist. When the new iLife released, I went to the Apple store... walked in... the greater said welcome to Apple. I asked for the new iLife. It was right there. I said that's all I wanted. He scanned it. I paid for it and said I just want the receipt emailed to me. He bagged it and I was out in under 5 minutes flat.

Now that is a premium experiance. No waiting in line behind someone who has tons of questions or wants to use a darn check. In and out like the burger joint... LOL

Now, lighten up!
post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayInHou View Post

You're such a dumb pessimist. When the new iLife released, I went to the Apple store... walked in... the greater said welcome to Apple. I asked for the new iLife. It was right there. I said that's all I wanted. He scanned it. I paid for it and said I just want the receipt emailed to me. He bagged it and I was out in under 5 minutes flat.

Now that is a premium experiance. No waiting in line behind someone who has tons of questions or wants to use a darn check. In and out like the burger joint... LOL

Now, lighten up!

Same experience when I purchased my ipad in release day. They had ipods with our info on them confirming our orders while we(300+ excited shoppers) waited in line. As soon as the doors opened I was in and out...ipad purchased, activated and bagged in under 5 minutes...literally! Booting my Windows work laptop takes longer to boot up.
post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by MAGXL200 View Post

Well with an app I could sign in with my iphone and be put in line to be surved. Then using gps the costumer service rep could see my location in the store and come serve me when my turn in line came.

Apple already does this. Not with GPS but with pre selected 'meet spots' depending on what you asked help with. I've used it a couple of times now. Once to buy somethog and once when I had a tech support appt.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dralith View Post

At least in Arlington, VA the Apple stores are such a constant source of frustration that I do my best not to go in them. It is virtually impossible to go to the store to buy something.

Wild guess, it is a very busy store. Which is a totally different issue than he software. I am in Los Angeles and the stores are often busy but it is far from a nightmare outside of launches, but even those are handled pretty well considering

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post #21 of 29
Apple could expand/modify the system so that it works in Libraries for checking out books, DVD rental, and inventory systems.

Even though ebooks will eventually kill libraries, and Netflix/Online video renting/streaming is killing DVD rental brick and mortar stores there might be a market to make some quick cash.
Apple could also has the potential to create an inventory system that exclusively works with the Xserve (should they decide to resurrect that is)

They could also develop iPod touch based diagnostic systems for reading and programming onboard/embedded computers in cars, planes etc...
The Kiwi WiFi Diagnostic Kit comes to mind.

Even network testing/diagnostics with the iPod touch makes sense. I mean who wants to carry a Fluke around all the time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BUSHMAN4 View Post

'Zipcheck' very interesting idea and totally doable. Seems like it will benefit everyone from the store to the customer and make a better shopping experience.
Naturally, security will be the key to this launch. However I would think that Apple has this down pat before testing.
post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsmythe00 View Post

A message hits your iphone app telling you you're next and proceed to counter 4 or service...or something like that.

That's how Apple does it at their own stores


Quote:
Originally Posted by z3r0 View Post

Apple could expand/modify the system so that it works in Libraries for checking out books, DVD rental, and inventory systems.

More likely, ideas like that would have be home grown to work with various software

Quote:
Apple could also has the potential to create an inventory system that exclusively works with the Xserve (should they decide to resurrect that

Might already work with OS Server. That said it is unlikely that this is really a truly Apple produced software. The core is possibly still off the shelf. They just made an a new interface. Old Navy might be using the same POS software so doing the same for them would be fairly easy. And helping them means free press with the blogs and such report the story. Helps to cut down on the whole Apple is anti-business talk

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post #23 of 29
I wish Apple great success in their efforts on this!
post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

Wild guess, it is a very busy store. Which is a totally different issue than he software. I am in Los Angeles and the stores are often busy but it is far from a nightmare outside of launches, but even those are handled pretty well considering

Sure, they are busy. The problem is if you go into the store and there are 25 associates on the floor and there are 30 people trying to get information about computers it can take ages to get any help. I can walk into Best Buy and even if there are 100 people in the store I can just grab what I need and go wait at the checkout. Worst cast scenario I may be standing there for five minutes. While that model may not ensure that the other 100 people in the store are receiving all of the attention they are looking for, it does ensure one's ability to quickly pick up what they know they are looking for and be on their way. I am not saying that it is a bad thing that your sales force should also be able to check people out. I am only saying that the elimination of a dedicated checkout area, that does not provide any other service but to let people buy things, is a mistake in a busy environment.
post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by dralith View Post

Sure, they are busy. The problem is if you go into the store and there are 25 associates on the floor and there are 30 people trying to get information about computers it can take ages to get any help. I can walk into Best Buy and even if there are 100 people in the store I can just grab what I need and go wait at the checkout. Worst cast scenario I may be standing there for five minutes. While that model may not ensure that the other 100 people in the store are receiving all of the attention they are looking for, it does ensure one's ability to quickly pick up what they know they are looking for and be on their way. I am not saying that it is a bad thing that your sales force should also be able to check people out. I am only saying that the elimination of a dedicated checkout area, that does not provide any other service but to let people buy things, is a mistake in a busy environment.

In cases like that just walk back to the Genius Bar. There is always someone there at a MacBook pro checking people out.
post #26 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by BUSHMAN4 View Post

'Zipcheck' very interesting idea and totally doable. Seems like it will benefit everyone from the store to the customer and make a better shopping experience.
Naturally, security will be the key to this launch. However I would think that Apple has this down pat before testing.

Isn't EasyPay a trademarked name? AI keeps calling it EasyPay but that was the solution they had before building their own (unless EasyPay is co-developing this & I just missed it).

This has got to have existing POS companies sweating it. I gotta wonder though if any of these employees will try & sue Old Navy for having to wear a printer around their neck. "Oh, the pain in my neck is unbarable, I can hardly sleep at night & I can't turn my head to look behind me!"

They should just put the little mobile printers on pedestals around the store, or hang them from key locations.
post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by dralith View Post

I agree. I actually cringed when I read this article because I am afraid other retailers will think this model is actually a better way to serve the consumer. At least in Arlington, VA the Apple stores are such a constant source of frustration that I do my best not to go in them. It is virtually impossible to go to the store to buy something. Think about that... a store where they make it hard to buy things. I have co-workers who have been told they need an appointment to purchase a computer. I have stood around the store for over fifteen minutes just trying to get someone's attention to buy a set of headphones. I finally got frustrated and went to Best Buy. While I admit that having your sales force on the floor and giving them more capability may be great, substituting this for an actual checkout area is disastrous. Don't even get me started about their so called "geniuses"...

I couldn't agree more, over in the UK its exactly the same,. i am a huge Apple fan and have most of their gadgets but i now avoid buying from its retail shops in favour of buying online,..

whenever i have been in the shop i and many more shoppers are stood like fools with items in one hand money in the other waiting for 20+ mins waiting for someone to serve us, a total farce, most occasions resulted in the guys at the genius bar stopping what they were doing to serve queues of pi**ed off people,.. the total concept is bizarre, the sooner they revert back to a dedicated till area the better!
post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by MAGXL200 View Post

I love the concept and I think it could be taken even further in time. For example lets say I am at Best Buy and all the costumer service reps are busy assisting other people, but I want to pay for something. Well with an app I could sign in with my iphone and be put in line to be surved. Then using gps the costumer service rep could see my location in the store and come serve me when my turn in line came. This would allow me to continue looking around the store without having to wait in line. Obviously though there would have to be a way that you could cancel the gps connection once you were helped, so you cant be tracked without your permission.

How about taking it even further just buy it on line while you are in the store and walk out with it. Security would be a challange but not insurmountable.
post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by dralith View Post

At least in Arlington, VA the Apple stores are such a constant source of frustration that I do my best not to go in them. It is virtually impossible to go to the store to buy something.

That's funny, I've been in that Apple store and like all the other ones (including the newly remodeled Tyson's store) you can go to the left of the Genius Bar, stand in line and check out if you can't flag a "Free Roamer" down.

Really, it's not that hard
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