Angela Ahrendts tells retail employees to push customers online for Apple Watch, 12" MacBook launche

Posted:
in General Discussion edited April 2015
In a leaked internal memo sent to Apple Store employees on Tuesday, retail chief Angela Ahrendts asks her employees to help change customer opinion that Apple product launches come standard with long lines, constrained channel supply and low in-store inventory.




The note, obtained by Business Insider, reveals Ahrendts is asking employees to steer customers away from brick-and-mortar Apple Stores and toward the Online Apple Store for the upcoming Apple Watch and MacBook releases, a marked change from Apple's most recent device debuts.

Ahrendts' strategy appears to be borne by a pragmatic need to ensure customers that Apple's colossal supply and distribution channels can handle what is normally strong launch day demand. For Apple Watch, Apple's perceived late entry into the wearables market, coupled with expectedly slick advertising, has made consumers frothy.
Get in line online

The days of waiting in line and crossing fingers for a product are over for our customers. The Apple Store app and our online store make it much easier to purchase Apple Watch and the new MacBook. Customers will know exactly when and where their product arrives.

This is a significant change in mindset, and we need your help to make it happen. Tell your customers we have more availability online, and show them how easy it is to order. You'll make their day.
Sources told the publication that initial in-store Apple Watch supply will indeed be limited, as anticipated by an AppleInsider source. In store pickup will supposedly not be offered in the UK, though the option appears to be open to U.S. customers.

Demand for Apple's first foray into wearables is predicted to drive one million unit sales over its first weekend of sales, a number that could approach 2.3 million by June. No matter what statistics the company provides, if any, initial sales are not necessarily a bellwether of platform success or failure.

With high demand and expected supply constraints, those looking to be one of the first to snag an Apple Watch are urged to make reservations through the Online Apple Store when preorders go live just after midnight Pacific time on April 10.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 59
    A watch? I've been in jail for a year and this is what Cook has come up with? Where the freak is the TV Jobs had mastered?
  • Reply 2 of 59
    jmgregory1jmgregory1 Posts: 457member
    Ahrendt's is crazy if she thinks that Apple customers don't understand that they can order online and have the order delivered. People want the in-store experience including waiting in line, so they can get some of the first units on the market. Suggesting that it's almost an unknown abut using the Store app or online store suggests to me that she doesn't understand the Apple customer very well.

    What they might want to do is fully embrace the experience and challenges of in-store product launches and figure ways to get more units on hand or in pop-up locations so the consumer experience isn't negative.
  • Reply 3 of 59
    prokipprokip Posts: 150member

    C'mon Angela,  you have got to be kidding.

     

    Did you try to get on-line to the Apple Store during the iPhone 6 launch?  I know you were in Australia!  But let me remind you that after the the on-line Apple Store was AWOL for the first hour(s), it was impossible to get a park on the iPhone 6 store page let alone secure a purchase.  I was forced into the queues on launch day just to make sure I had a replacement for my failing prior iPhone.

     

    Of course everything is now honky dory with the web store having enough bandwidth to handle the expected interest, and all's fixed... we hope.  Let's see what happens on April 10 at 12.01 PST.

     

    Over to you dearie.

  • Reply 4 of 59
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,496member
    Line waiting is all part of the fun of a new product announcement. Why discourage people from enjoying the hoopla?
  • Reply 5 of 59
    danielswdanielsw Posts: 905member
    prokip wrote: »
    C'mon Angela,  you have got to be kidding.

    Did you try to get on-line to the Apple Store during the iPhone 6 launch?  I know you were in Australia!  But let me remind you that after the the on-line Apple Store was AWOL for the first hour(s), it was impossible to get a park on the iPhone 6 store page let alone secure a purchase.  I was forced into the queues on launch day just to make sure I had a replacement for my failing prior iPhone.

    Of course everything is now honky dory with the web store having enough bandwidth to handle the expected interest, and all's fixed... we hope.  Let's see what happens on April 10 at 12.01 PST.

    Over to you dearie.

    C'mon yourself.

    There were over 500 people waiting in line at the Tampa Apple Store all night the night before the iPhone 6 was released. If these sorts of lines get longer, these will be serious logistical nightmares for all concerned. What CAN be expanded and improved is the online store. Perhaps Apple has.
  • Reply 6 of 59
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,496member
    danielsw wrote: »
    C'mon yourself.

    There were over 500 people waiting in line at the Tampa Apple Store all night the night before the iPhone 6 was released. If these sorts of lines get longer, these will be serious logistical nightmares for all concerned. What CAN be expanded and improved is the online store. Perhaps Apple has.

    A watch demands in-person evaluation prior to purchase. Just the nature of the product.
  • Reply 7 of 59
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,443member
    The 'crazy ones' (and I say that with affection) that line up, do it for the fun and possible media coverage I suspect. Doing anything to try to change this is messing with tradition. That's never a good idea. As others have said, just try to find away to have more inventory show up where there are long lines.
  • Reply 8 of 59
    ecatsecats Posts: 272member
    This is a consumer "iceberg". For every customer you see there are many more that you don't see using the digital store fronts - they're simply far more convenient now. Frankly this is a good thing because the stores wouldn't cope with the massive volume of orders that apple ship each year. (At least without seriously compromising other Apple store services such as: servicing, try-outs and educational classes.)

    Take the watch for example, this is a product category that is almost exclusively purchased in person. Yet Apple's quality reputation along with the enormous amount of online information allow a person to confidently buy it without having ever seen one in person.

    Also I don't see this as AA trying to remove the Apple queues, but rather to direct people who aren't queuing for the experience to a more convenient purchasing arrangement. The queues will exist as long as Apple is relevant. This idea would only help prevent the queues from turning into a negative experience instead of a positive one. The queues are fun because it's the apple enthusiast community who are mostly represented.
  • Reply 9 of 59
    Without lines BusinessInsider and their fellow bottom feeders will declare the launch a failure...
  • Reply 10 of 59
    Is she bringing the 2-step SMS order/reservation and unreachable online store to the rest of the world?

    I can't wait to see the rest of the world has a great LTE adoption just for ORDERING their iPhone.
  • Reply 11 of 59
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Line waiting is all part of the fun of a new product announcement. Why discourage people from enjoying the hoopla?

    Because these lines now are mostly occupied by scalpers? And because they're kind of passé at this point?
  • Reply 12 of 59
    I thought lining up for new products was part of the experience?
  • Reply 13 of 59
    Without lines BusinessInsider and their fellow bottom feeders will declare the launch a failure...
    I suspect they'll declare it a failure with or without the lines...
  • Reply 14 of 59
    kibitzerkibitzer Posts: 1,114member
    What's different this time is that customers can schedule a try-on appointment at an Apple Store between April 10 and the April 24 release date. Try them on, pick your favorite, order online and know when it's going to show up at your doorstep. For every other product, people were ordering online or lining up on the first day to buy sight unseen, so Angela's advice in that context makes perfect sense.

    Of course, for those who get a kick out of shivering in line during the April 24 predawn, having deep interactions with utter strangers who haven't so far bothered to brush their teeth, fidgeting from foot to foot and urgently wondering where to take a leak without losing one's place in line or being arrested - by all means disregard this message!
  • Reply 15 of 59
    What a strange memo
  • Reply 16 of 59
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    I thought lining up for new products was part of the experience?

    Personally I think these queue's are kind of passé now and too easily mocked (like Samsung successfully did). Note that the only product they really exist for now is the iPhone. Last year when the new iPads were announced they didn't even give a date when they'd be available in store, so there really wasn't anything to stand in line for.
  • Reply 17 of 59
    danielswdanielsw Posts: 905member
    A watch demands in-person evaluation prior to purchase. Just the nature of the product.
    Not for everyone.
  • Reply 18 of 59
    kibitzerkibitzer Posts: 1,114member
    Another thing - with the profusion of watch bodies and wristband options, store inventories are bound to be much more constrained at introduction. Remember how Apple Retail Stores were essentially bereft of the gold iPhone 5Cs for weeks after introduction? How about the feeling you'll get after waiting in line for three hours to discover that the person ahead of you just snatched up the last watch-wristband combination that was your throbbing heart's desire?
  • Reply 19 of 59

    I've only waited in line once, it was for the launch of the iPad2. I must say it was an enjoyable experience. I spent an hour or two talking to people I didn't know and who shared my excitement. It is one thing to encourage people to avoid the lines if they don't want to go through that experience, but don't take it away from everyone. I, for one will try to order my Apple Watch for pickup at my local store. There may no be long lines like in the past, but I still expect some excitement. 

  • Reply 20 of 59
    maccherrymaccherry Posts: 924member
    This woman needs to go. Long a** lines for an Apple product is classic and it serves as one of the greatest pices of advertising there is. At then end of the day Apple and their customer base will be very happy.
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