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Apple preparing overhaul of its online store

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
Apple has begun signaling to education shoppers that it plans to relaunch and overhaul its online store in the near future, making it easier to do business.

AppleInsider was alerted on Wednesday to the notice that can be found on the top of Apple online stores geared for kindergarten through 12th grade institutions. There, shoppers are greeted with an alert about "the new Apple Store."

"Apple is launching a new online store, which is your tool to shop and place orders with Apple," the note reads. "Proposal creation, order status, and a dramatically simplified user interface will make it easier to do business with Apple — all in a secure and reliable environment."

For now, it appears that any forthcoming changes will just be related to the company's specialty stores designed for education institutions. However, the change could be a sign that Apple plans to do enact a similar overhaul of its general consumer storefront at some point in the near future.

The note atop the store for K-12 buyers also shares information on "getting ready" for the upcoming transition, stating that it will be "easy."




"Your current Apple ID and password will continue to work," it states. "In the coming weeks, you will receive more information about the store's features, benefits, and launch date."

Rather than a complete overhaul of its online store, Apple has instead made incremental updates over the years, adding functionality and features one piece at a time. For example, last month Apple added a new "Answers from the Community" section to its product pages.

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 38
How about just getting rid of that page you added between clicking the Mac on the main store page and choosing a model to BTO? I'm STILL confused over why they did that. A full overhaul would be great and all, but if that's the way they're going…

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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post #3 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

How about just getting rid of that page you added between clicking the Mac on the main store page and choosing a model to BTO? I'm STILL confused over why they did that. A full overhaul would be great and all, but if that's the way they're going

I reckon it's for people who are browsing, so they can front load some info/advertising. Like a point of sale display in a brick and mortar operation.

For people who already know what they want it's not too much of a burden to click through, is it? I mean, it's not like I'm buying a Mac three time a day every day, or anything.
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post #4 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

How about just getting rid of that page you added between clicking the Mac on the main store page and choosing a model to BTO? I'm STILL confused over why they did that. A full overhaul would be great and all, but if that's the way they're going

Are you really that lazy.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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

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post #5 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

Are you really that lazy.

Do you really know that little about well-designed websites?

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #6 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

Are you really that lazy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Do you really know that little about well-designed websites?

Are both your penises really so small?
post #7 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by franktinsley View Post

Are both your penises really so small?

I'm serious! The extra splash page is pretty un-Apple.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #8 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

Are you really that lazy.

I'd agree with Skil. I've clicked on 'MacBook Air' because I want to buy a MacBook Air. If I want product info I either scroll down or go to the MacBook Air webpage, I don't need another round of adverts.
post #9 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by franktinsley View Post

Are both your penises really so small?

post #10 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I'm serious! The extra splash page is pretty un-Apple.

And you're right to be this upset about it. Never mind that it allows people who are browsing to see some promotional materials or differences between the different models. I mean it's not like apple buries essential cell phone toggles like Bluetooth or 3G settings under a series of menus and buttons on the iPhone, right?
post #11 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by CGJ View Post

I'd agree with Skil. I've clicked on 'MacBook Air' because I want to buy a MacBook Air. If I want product info I either scroll down or go to the MacBook Air webpage, I don't need another round of adverts.

Also agree. Interestingly, clicking on 'MacBook Pro' or 'Mac Pro' still takes you directly to the product selection screen.
post #12 of 38
I would hope that this "overhaul" includes adding a prominent, direct link to the Apple Retail Stores page.
post #13 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

How about just getting rid of that page you added between clicking the Mac on the main store page and choosing a model to BTO? I'm STILL confused over why they did that. A full overhaul would be great and all, but if that's the way they're going…

Yeah, that one extra click to buy something is just killer. I estimate that I lose around 6 seconds a year with that page. I'm thinking of starting a class action lawsuit because of this, who's with me?
post #14 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by CGJ View Post

I'd agree with Skil. I've clicked on 'MacBook Air' because I want to buy a MacBook Air. If I want product info I either scroll down or go to the MacBook Air webpage, I don't need another round of adverts.

Wow, just wow. An extra screen that gives useful info to many before making a $1,000+ purchase? Inexcusable.

I honestly question the the type of lives some of you lead so as to be actually bothered enough by this to complain about it. Blows my mind.
post #15 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rare View Post

Also agree. Interestingly, clicking on 'MacBook Pro' or 'Mac Pro' still takes you directly to the product selection screen.

That's because the MacBook Pro and Mac Pro still use Apple's old 4-on-1-line marketing.

Example A: http://www.apple.com/macbookpro/

Whereas the iPhone uses a 3-on-1 line marketing page: http://www.apple.com/iphone/

However, they are now moving to 2-on-1 line marketing: http://www.apple.com/ipad/ and http://www.apple.com/macosx/mountain-lion/

EDIT:// This is how I see it anyway *shrug*
post #16 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post

Never mind that it allows people who are browsing to see some promotional materials or differences between the different models.

If you're going to the store without already having done research, I don't know what to tell you.

Quote:
I mean it's not like apple buries essential cell phone toggles like Bluetooth or 3G settings under a series of menus and buttons on the iPhone, right?

And who says I'm not bothered about that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rare View Post

Also agree. Interestingly, clicking on 'MacBook Pro' or 'Mac Pro' still takes you directly to the product selection screen.

Yep, because Apple only updates the pages when the product gets an update. They don't update across the board for both the store and the product's actual page, so there's a LOT of discontinuity on Apple's entire website.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

Yeah, that one extra click to buy something is just killer. I estimate that I lose around 6 seconds a year with that page. I'm thinking of starting a class action lawsuit because of this, who's with me?

Thanks for missing the point.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #17 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Yep, because Apple only updates the pages when the product gets an update. They don't update across the board for both the store and the product's actual page, so there's a LOT of discontinuity on Apple's entire website.

Ah, that explains why the iPod shuffle and classic [should that be "iPods shuffle and classic"?] are the same way.

Quote:
Thanks for missing the point.

No kidding. Wow.
post #18 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

Wow, just wow. An extra screen that gives useful info to many before making a $1,000+ purchase? Inexcusable.

I honestly question the the type of lives some of you lead so as to be actually bothered enough by this to complain about it. Blows my mind.

Well, good ole Tally here is pushing on 10,000 posts in less than 2 years. Inane stuff, mostly. Does this guy have anything better to do with his time? Pathetic !!
post #19 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleGreen View Post

Well, good ole Tally here is pushing on 10,000 posts in less than 2 years. Inane stuff, mostly. Does this guy have anything better to do with his time? Pathetic !!

You'll want to refrain from ad-homs in the future. Against anyone.

For ANY reason.

PARTICULARLY post count.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #20 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

If you're going to the store without already having done research, I don't know what to tell you.

My guess is that they found that people are browsing through the store for information in addition to making a purchase. In other words, not everyone is you. It is not uncommon for 'normal' computer users (i.e. people who aren't technology experts or power users) to browse websites in ways which would seem strange to the sort of person who frequents this forum. That splash screen was probably their ham-fisted solution to the problem, serving as an intermediary stage for viewers to find their way regardless of their intent (and the earlier sentiment is rightpeople aren't going to shy away from their purchase because a splash screen offered more information).

They can do a better job and that will probably be addressed in the new design.
The true measure of a man is how he treats someone that can do him absolutely no good.
  Samuel Johnson
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The true measure of a man is how he treats someone that can do him absolutely no good.
  Samuel Johnson
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post #21 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

You'll want to refrain from ad-noms in the future. Against anyone.

For ANY reason.

PARTICULARLY post count.


Flexing?....
He does have a point.
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From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
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post #22 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

If you're going to the store without already having done research, I don't know what to tell you.

Well, there's going to be two kinds of people clicking on the store: people who already know what they want and people who are browsing.

The latter are likely to go to the store to see what's on offer and how much it costs. For them, a click on a product gives them some possibly helpful info on why it's cool, what it can do, education pricing, Apple Care, accessories, etc, plus the base price. That's exactly the kind of stuff I would want to see if I were browsing, and it allows me to educate myself without having to pass the psychological barrier of clicking a "buy" button.

Sure, I could that info and more by going to the relevant pages on Apple's site, among others, but what can I tell you? People like to browse in stores.
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #23 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

You'll want to refrain from ad-noms in the future. Against anyone.

For ANY reason.

PARTICULARLY post count.


Ad-nom ?? Oh, my !! my !!

post #24 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xian Zhu Xuande View Post

That splash screen was probably their ham-fisted solution to the problem, serving as an intermediary stage for viewers to find their way regardless of their intent (and the earlier sentiment is rightpeople aren't going to shy away from their purchase because a splash screen offered more information).

They can do a better job and that will probably be addressed in the new design.

My confusion lies in having done the change at all. They DID a better job already; you can see the old design still up for some products. They could easily combine the nice blue buttons they have on the new with the location and placement of the old to make information-getting more visible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post

He does have a point.

Not really.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #25 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

Yeah, that one extra click to buy something is just killer. I estimate that I lose around 6 seconds a year with that page.

I get the impression he is easily annoyed with almost anything. I think many people use the store home page as a starting point for browsing since it has everything in one place and links to things that can't be accessed from the main menu at the top. Things like software, Apple TV, accessories etc. The fact that there is a huge prominent blue button that says "Select a whatever..." makes it pretty easy to start buying stuff. At least it is not any more difficult than other sites like Amazon or Newegg, etc. Even once you have selected your items the check out process has way more clicks.

So there may be redundancy in some product listings, which is a good thing since you are twice as likely to find what you are looking for.

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post #26 of 38
Well, I tried to tip AI on Twitter but they haven't updated this. Maybe it might help shed some light on discussions if I post it here.

While this may point to an upcoming change for all users, this particular one is for their special sales channel, i.e. educational institutions and resellers. Here's an image of the reseller message:

http://cl.ly/2J2b183a073s2i0b2s1k

The purpose of this store isn't the same as the normal store.apple.com. If you're not familiar with what this is for, the added New Features section in this image should help give you the gist (CTOs and such).
post #27 of 38
"This just in, Apple might update their webpage in the future."

O
M
G
post #28 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Not really.

Let's round up to 2 years even and 10000 posts... It seems likely by then.
That's 14 posts a day, every single day for those two years... With not a single day off! Pretty freakin' amazing stuff. (Assuming most of it isn't just useless drivel to pad stats )

So, yes, by my reckoning he DOES have a point.
I don't particularly CARE, as you're welcome to spend your spare time as you wish, and I've posted my share of mindless drivel on here. But you really have to admit, those are some spectacular numbers you've put up!
From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
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From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
Reply
post #29 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post

Let's round up to 2 years even and 10000 posts... It seems likely by then.
That's 14 posts a day, every single day for those two years... With not a single day off! Pretty freakin' amazing stuff. (Assuming most of it isn't just useless drivel to pad stats )

So, yes, by my reckoning he DOES have a point.
I don't particularly CARE, as you're welcome to spend your spare time as you wish, and I've posted my share of mindless drivel on here. But you really have to admit, those are some spectacular numbers you've put up!

To be fair, it's more like 1.5 years, so you need to increase that 14 posts/day figure a bit. Probably closer to 20. If we take into account, oh I don't know, trips, vacations, etc (assuming he takes any) it shoots much higher.

Again, not like I care, but it's beyond silly for someone who has so much downtime as to amass those kind of posting numbers to complain about the time spent for an extra click before purchasing a major product.
post #30 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

Yeah, that one extra click to buy something is just killer. I estimate that I lose around 6 seconds a year with that page. I'm thinking of starting a class action lawsuit because of this, who's with me?

It's not a big deal, but I do agree that it's a step backwards. There are certainly reasons for the change (like, adding information) but it's not more efficient.


Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post

Let's round up to 2 years even and 10000 posts... It seems likely by then.
That's 14 posts a day, every single day for those two years... With not a single day off! Pretty freakin' amazing stuff. (Assuming most of it isn't just useless drivel to pad stats )

So, yes, by my reckoning he DOES have a point.
I don't particularly CARE, as you're welcome to spend your spare time as you wish, and I've posted my share of mindless drivel on here. But you really have to admit, those are some spectacular numbers you've put up!

Yours and other comments make an erroneous assumption that a post requires a grandiose geeture or use of time. You can easily make 14 posts posts in a day on a single thread in a conversation with only a few minutes of our time spent. Even now I'm standing in a queue waiting while typing this message.

PS: There are also double posts and one word emoticon posts that all add to your total.

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post #31 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleGreen View Post

Well, good ole Tally here is pushing on 10,000 posts in less than 2 years. Inane stuff, mostly. Does this guy have anything better to do with his time? Pathetic !!

Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post

Let's round up to 2 years even and 10000 posts... It seems likely by then.
That's 14 posts a day, every single day for those two years... With not a single day off! Pretty freakin' amazing stuff. (Assuming most of it isn't just useless drivel to pad stats )

So, yes, by my reckoning he DOES have a point.
I don't particularly CARE, as you're welcome to spend your spare time as you wish, and I've posted my share of mindless drivel on here. But you really have to admit, those are some spectacular numbers you've put up!

How about you guys STFU and get back on topic?

Here comes the Tim Cook 1.0 version of the online store.

I'm really looking forward to when he turns his attention to iTunes, which has definitely moved outside the 'simplicity is the ultimate sophistication' thing.
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post #32 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Even now I'm standing in a queue waiting while typing this message.

Whatcha queuing for?

A Samsung Galaxy SII?
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post #33 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

Are you really that lazy.

Yep, it ain't all that hard to take a click or two three more to get to the right stuff. But ain't automation wonderful? If a skilled web designer can make it easier and more efficient for a website visitor to get to the right stuff, then why not? The website should just work.
post #34 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

Whatcha queuing for?

A Samsung Galaxy SII?

I think its the 30 second wait vBulletin / AI requires before posting again. Sol has an average of 32 posts per day, his old account even more.
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post #35 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by fjpoblam View Post

Yep, it ain't all that hard to take a click or two three more to get to the right stuff. But ain't automation wonderful? If a skilled web designer can make it easier and more efficient for a website visitor to get to the right stuff, then why not? The website should just work.

It does work. I've bought things from dozens and dozens of online retailers, and Apple's website is still the slickest, most intuitive, and most enjoyable buying experience.
post #36 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

I'm really looking forward to when he turns his attention to iTunes, which has definitely moved outside the 'simplicity is the ultimate sophistication' thing.

And a redesign of the Apple Online Store should a small indicator of how the App Store/iTunes Store will be redesigned. Heaven knows it needs it. I'll say it again, subcategories OF subcategories. You can't expect anyone to be able to find anything in a pile of 600,000 apps and, what, 100,000 applications (?) with just the categories we have now.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #37 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

My confusion lies in having done the change at all. They DID a better job already; you can see the old design still up for some products. They could easily combine the nice blue buttons they have on the new with the location and placement of the old to make information-getting more visible.

I'm not quite sure what you're referring to. Looking at the Macs in the store, the two computers which skip this stage are the MacBook Pro and the Mac Pro. Excluding the Mac Pro is obvious and I can see how the MacBook Pro logic might fall into place. Other models include the additional instruction opportunity. I can imagine this is based on their understanding of their customers through information gathered on the website.

You would have to elaborate on 'combine the nice blue buttons'.

Generally speaking, though, the Apple website team is incredibly talented. They do an absolutely marvelous job, in most cases, of clearly guiding the user from one location to the next in their website without allowing the excessive amount of clutter that plagues most ecommerce websites. They're certainly far ahead of most computer manufacturers.

Some problems you solve with quick fixes. Some you solve temporarily with measures meant to be replaced with a big redesign. Some you save for the big redesign. I expect that whatever they do will resolve problems like this in the process.
The true measure of a man is how he treats someone that can do him absolutely no good.
  Samuel Johnson
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The true measure of a man is how he treats someone that can do him absolutely no good.
  Samuel Johnson
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post #38 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xian Zhu Xuande View Post

I'm not quite sure what you're referring to. Looking at the Macs in the store, the two computers which skip this stage are the MacBook Pro and the Mac Pro.

Yep. Those pages' layouts are a much better way of doing it.

Quote:
You would have to elaborate on 'combine the nice blue buttons'.

The modern buttons that Apple uses.



They're eye-catching and they're large. Perfect for "Learn More" button, placed below the area where you pick a size and BTO, in a minimalistic setting.

Quote:
Generally speaking, though, the Apple website team is incredibly talented. They do an absolutely marvelous job, in most cases, of clearly guiding the user from one location to the next in their website without allowing the excessive amount of clutter that plagues most ecommerce websites. They're certainly far ahead of most computer manufacturers.

Oh, this is absolutely true.

Though I'm also confused why the problem with the iPad features page has been allowed to persist for so long.

Scroll down to the part where it talks about the camera. Notice the high-res photo of the back of the iPad there? It's actually the first of 120+ images, all of which load when you load the page, that animates through an exploded view of the lens.

But it doesn't animate. All the other elements on the page animate properly, but not that. And all the other elements on the page don't have their constituent images loading separately. They're all handled with JavaScript. It seems to be just an incomplete animation whose images (and page size and load time…) were left in.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
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