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

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 25
    Brilliant! It's all about the Apple Eco-System! Baby! Cradle to grave!
  • Reply 2 of 25
    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
  • Reply 3 of 25
    citycity Posts: 522member
    Will this work for getting a table at a restaurant?
  • Reply 4 of 25
    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!
  • Reply 5 of 25
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 25
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 25
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 25
    citycity Posts: 522member
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 25
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 25
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 25
    rot'napplerot'napple Posts: 1,839member
    The "iQueue"... Good one Apple!



    I would have never thought of that! </sarcasm>
  • Reply 12 of 25
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    What's wrong with just taking a number?
  • Reply 13 of 25
    blursdblursd Posts: 123member
    Oh no ... what will all the twenty people that have Zunes do ...?!?!



    They can update their status on their Kin I guess ...
  • Reply 14 of 25
    An app that knows when you walk through the store doors? And sends you pictures of Apple Employees? So much for privacy . . .
  • Reply 15 of 25
    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?"
  • Reply 16 of 25
    joe hsjoe hs Posts: 488member
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 25
    joe hsjoe hs Posts: 488member
    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?"



  • Reply 18 of 25
    blah64blah64 Posts: 990member
    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!
  • Reply 19 of 25
    eulereuler Posts: 81member
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 25
    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.
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