A new iOS app launched today by iconic technology brand Apple will allow customers to collect items in its stores 12 minutes after ordering them via their mobile.
Click & collect services are already available in the US-based firm’s stores in New York and California but are now going to be rolled out across America to coincide with the new commitment on speed of collection.
No details of a further international expansion to the service has been announced but if predicted in-store sales increases, of around 30 per cent according to mobile and electronics e-publication BGR Media, prove correct the service is likely to be trialled in the UK shortly.
Neil Saunders, Managing Director of consultants Conlumino, commented: “The 12-minute promise is typically Apple in that it puts technology to practical use, improving both store efficiency and enhancing customer service. It’s not revolutionary, of course, but it is a very solid step forward in the development of Apple’s multichannel strategy.
“Apple already has one of the most efficient customer service operations, using floating staff in stores to allow customers to purchase items on the spot rather than queuing up at registers.
“This app is a logical next step as it effectively allows consumers to undertake the transaction themselves and simply use the store as a pick-up point.”
The service will only be available for products which are in-stock at the intended pick-up location, with the electronic order taking three minutes to register, preparing the goods for collection taking another two minutes, and Apple allowing another seven minutes grace period.
Another major feature of the updated Apple shopping app will be the capability for customers to self-checkout in store using a barcode scanning device. The app will automatically subtract the owed money for any product scanned from the banking account set up from the user’s Apple ID.
This functionality will be rolled out worldwide from today and is another example of how Apple is storming ahead with in-store innovation and customer interaction.
Saunders added: “In financial terms, the app itself should help Apple generate more revenue, but the new way of purchasing will also save it money over the longer term. As such, it is a double win for them.”