Apple App Helps Locate Customers, Streamline Buying

Apple is making efforts to speed up shopping in Apple stores, locate customers in need of assistance, and even eliminate cash registers.

The most recent example was found Black Friday in the Palo Alto Apple store. Customers were able to purchase merchandise before ever entering the store, and employees, along with their iPod Touches, were notified of the buyers’ arrivals.

An apple store employee, Diego Aguirre, said 16 customers used the new technology for quick and easy shopping, according to The New York Times.

“[The apps are] more toward customer experience,” said Aguirre, “We want them to feel at home.”

The speedy shopping is not the only way Apple is trying to modernize the buying process.

The California-based company has even found a way to find potential customers who may have questions.

Next to most major pieces of merchandise in Apple stores is an iPad, Apple’s popular tablet. On the tablet is a screen showing specifications about the device, like memory, RAM, aesthetics, and other design intricacies. If the buyer has more queries about the gadget, they can press one button on the iPad, an Apple associate is notified, and they can then come to their assistance.

For Apple, the benefits are twofold: employees do not waste time attending to customers who know what they want or need more time deciding, and customers do not feel pressured into buying products.

“We don’t want to feel like we’re hassling our customers to shop,” Aguierre added.

Other retail outlets are attempting to emulate Apple’s consumer tracking technology, hoping that streamlined buying will boost sales.

Some malls in Southern California and Virginia started using smartphones’ GPS location technology to keep tabs on movement; the signals let stores know where traffic is highest, allowing for more efficient advertising, among other things.

The new technology was put into place Black Friday, and shoppers were notified with small signs around the mall. Because all the information remains anonymous, no personal data would be collected.