Apple Store Update Takes Retail Into The Metaverse

Apple Store Update Takes Retail Into The Metaverse

Apple Store Update Takes Retail Into The Metaverse

Apple has updated its website with the reintroduction of a “Shop“Section and I can’t help but wonder why it was ever made harder to find in an earlier redesign of the site.

Sales did not stop

Sales didn’t stop when Apple redesigned its site and made the store a more discreet space. To access it, you can use a link in the site menu, a link at the bottom of the page, or via the “Buy” button on any product page.

However, as Apple’s business becomes increasingly online, it’s no wonder the company chose to make finding its mall online easier. While the rationale for discretion above likely reflected that Apple is an experience company, not a sales company, that strategy became more difficult to accept once sales surpassed $ 1 trillion.

Changing direction?

However, it is interesting to consider whether the change will be accompanied by a move to transform Apple’s retail stores into more sales-driven operations.

I hope this is not the case. One of the key elements of those stores. from the beginning He has focused on identifying what people need, rather than sales.

“You can feel what the Apple brand is by the experience you have in space. Now, more companies see their stores as brand touch points, rather than just a transaction space, ”said Tim Kobe, who helped design Apple’s first retail stores in 2019.

I hope Apple isn’t changing its store philosophy too much; after all, it has turned those places into the most profitable retailers in the world. I also hope the company actually embraces hybrid work practices, rather than the hobbled model of going back to work on certain days that it has adopted.

A good overall move

The decision to provide access to the Apple Store online is a good one. It can be reached through a tab at the top of the page.

Once there, you will find an experience that looks very similar to what is offered in the Apple Store app (because Apple gets the omnichannel). That means neat little sections for each type of product, special offers, and links to helpful services like specialist advisors, genius support, and free personal sessions.

When you buy something from Apple, you can either get free delivery or pay to have the product delivered within two hours. Collection, exchange and payment plans and links to the really useful company Today at Apple the tutoring sessions are all there, as are the links to education, business, and the revamped store.

In other words, it’s like the store before it, but with a facelift and a more unified shopping experience across devices, online and through apps. Which means that your user experience should be the same, regardless of how you choose to visit.

And that is the point

Apple knows that offering consistent retail strategies across multiple touchpoints increases customer engagement, retention, and sales. It’s a customer-centric approach where you offer an integrated experience at all points. It is an approximation goal benefited from in the second quarter of 20, when it found that multichannel consumers spend four times more than consumers who only buy in stores and ten times more than consumers who only do digital.

Apple also knows that today’s consumers use an average of almost six touch points when purchasing an item, and 98% of Americans switch between multiple devices in one day. The importance of in-store delivery and pickup also grew during the pandemic, when Adobe Analytics claims that the number of orders placed online and picked up in stores grew by 208%.

Where is the AR?

One missing piece appears to be the absence of artificial reality (AR) content. Given Apple’s continued focus on AR, it seems strange that the online store doesn’t have access to AR-powered product experiences. I can’t help but think that there is a missed opportunity for an app clip or QR code on the page to unlock augmented reality product experiences for shoppers. Why can Ikea show you what your home office desk would look like, but Apple doesn’t offer the same for an iMac, MacBook Pro, or HomePod mini?

I know Apple offers AR product assets at times, but I think you should consider making them universal and available at each of your retail store touchpoints. It feels like such an obvious painting.

The bottom line is that Apple now has a metaverse-compliant online store experience to provide a cross-device and (via the web) cross-platform portal to the unique, customer-centric experiences its retail outlets are already famous for. : tutorials, training, advice and more.

The next step, I hope, will be to expand the number of contact points available while expanding the product rangeand, presumably, generate additional sales.

“Companies with extremely strong omnichannel customer engagement experience a 9.5% year-over-year increase in annual revenue.” reports the Aberdeen Group.

Chasing growth is Apple’s way, after all, so its teams are likely to have a bit of confidence in the midst of the pandemic that total retail sales in the third quarter of 2021 set a record in the June quarter. , since Apple disclosed during your most recent tax summons.

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