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Apple retail customers to gain self-checkout option via iOS app

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Apple plans to give retail customers the ability to finalize their own in-store purchases via its iOS application for the iPhone, according to a new report.

Apple's rumored plans to update its iOS application for a self-checkout option were revealed by MacRumors. The new functionality is expected to arrive as soon as this week.

An update to the official "Apple Store" application for iOS is said to allow users to charge purchases to their iTunes Store account, linked to an Apple ID and credit card just as App Store purchases are authorized. The anticipated option will only apply to accessories and items found on the shelf.

The new ability will not apply to more expensive items like the iPhone, iPad, iPods or Macs. Those devices will remain kept in the stockroom at Apple's retail stores, and will require assistance from a salesperson in order to purchase.

But for accessories sold in stores, including cases for products like the iPhone and iPad, users will be able to complete the transaction on their own with an iOS device. An automated e-mailed receipt will serve as confirmation of the transaction, allowing customers to show employees that an item has been paid for.



The new self-checkout option is rumored to arrive soon after Apple launched an in-store pickup program via its online store. Customers in San Francisco can now order a product online and pick it up at a local Apple retail store, and that ability is expected to expand to other U.S. stores in the near future.

Another change is also said to be coming to Apple's online store, allowing customers to place a single order with multiple items, and have those items shipped to different addresses. The enhanced functionality is expected to debut in time for the holiday shopping season.
post #2 of 11
I've used this app at the store to to check in for a genius appointment and to get help finding a product. While I won't call it magical, it's definitely cool to use and adding the feature to purchase accessories is a big plus.
post #3 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

But for accessories sold in stores, including cases for products like the iPhone and iPad, users will be able to complete the transaction on their own with an iOS device. An automated e-mailed receipt will serve as confirmation of the transaction, allowing customers to show employees that an item has been paid for.

I'd love to see this concept work. But having worked in retail management, I know that it's just going to making managing shrinkage that much harder.

Then again, every time I pass by the Apple Store, I'm amazed at how many salespeople they have who are just standing around, who can keep an eye on things.
post #4 of 11
Sounds interesting. I wish the retail app would work in Canada......
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Another change is also said to be coming to Apple's online store, allowing customers to place a single order with multiple items, and have those items shipped to different addresses. The enhanced functionality is expected to debut in time for the holiday shopping season.

Christmas shopping - a true one stop event I love this option but it makes me think back to being a young boy heading out to the department store to buy presents. If memory serves me right I din't love doing it but I do remember the busy, streets, the crowded shops, the Santas and music, and there was something special about the whole experience. Sitting in front of my Mac is something I do every day.
Still, I will use it and love it.
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by cajun View Post

I'd love to see this concept work. But having worked in retail management, I know that it's just going to making managing shrinkage that much harder.

Then again, every time I pass by the Apple Store, I'm amazed at how many salespeople they have who are just standing around, who can keep an eye on things.

15 years in retail tells me you have a valid concern here. I would hate to have to try and stop people from passing their phone off and walking off with 10 for the price of one(now this could be stopped with some sort of version of the code system that could be used in the e-mail to show that the person has already left with the item and it's been verified by an Apple employee), or just waiting a few hours and returning(unless the employees pay real close attention to the time stamp on the e-mail). It's a weld full of thieves out there and they will take fast advantage of this.
post #7 of 11
i would guess that apple has put many safety stops in place to deal with theft.

in any event, i believe they can shut down any device remotely.
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rtapps View Post

15 years in retail tells me you have a valid concern here. I would hate to have to try and stop people from passing their phone off and walking off with 10 for the price of one(now this could be stopped with some sort of version of the code system that could be used in the e-mail to show that the person has already left with the item and it's been verified by an Apple employee), or just waiting a few hours and returning(unless the employees pay real close attention to the time stamp on the e-mail). It's a weld full of thieves out there and they will take fast advantage of this.

Yeah. Messy. You could deal with it pretty easy by having the blue shirt scan a barcode on the phone, which would bring up the list of items and invalidate the barcode for future pickups. But it really is a mess.

I'd almost rather they go with the vending machine approach, where it could apply to (almost) all products they sell.
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by ezduzit View Post

i would guess that apple has put many safety stops in place to deal with theft.

in any event, i believe they can shut down any device remotely.

Quote:
The new ability will not apply to more expensive items like the iPhone, iPad, iPods or Macs.

Am I missing something?
post #10 of 11
Once checks and balances are in place, not far off is the ability to scan your grocery/hardware/etc. items as you place them in your cart or shopping bag.
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by cajun View Post

I'd love to see this concept work. But having worked in retail management, I know that it's just going to making managing shrinkage that much harder.

It's one part public perception that Apple trusts their customers to be honest.

and the other part having LP agents both in uniform and plain clothes in the stores.

As for the reports they are real. You will shortly be able to self ring any non serialized product yourself. So everything on the floor other than the airports, time capsules and apple tvs. You will also be able to order online and pickup in the store same day for standard stock and within a few days for custom orders (which will be great if you don't want the wife to see what you bought her and the office has a no personal delivery rule). You can even order something have it shipped to another store for another person to pick up. So say your kid in college across the country has his laptop die, you can buy the replacement and he can pick it up at the Apple Store down the street. Everything but iPhones. Apparently because of the whole contract and activation stuff they aren't doing the online for instore thing at the moment.


Quote:
Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post

Am I missing something?


yep. you are missing that they don't keep iPhones etc on the floor for customers to just grab. So you have to talk to an employee for those. Who also needs to record more detailed info about the item and thus will use their device.

the idea here is that you just need to grab a case and the store is packed. Rather than waiting a half hour for an employee to be free only to find out that there's a line of folks waiting and you are like number 20, you can just ring yourself up and go.
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