Industry experts are predicting that Apple will change its brick-and-mortar sales approach to accommodate the debut of its smartwatch in April.
The Apple stores are currently designed to invoke a calm, minimalist, modern aesthetic. Devices are displayed on long countertops that allow customers to freely and fully experiment with the models and software, and many sales associates wander through the store to perform demonstrations. Shoppers can then commit to a product relatively quickly because there aren’t many varieties of one device to choose from, and the different product models are prepackaged and therefore easy for the sales associates to bring out from the stockroom.
The smartwatch is expected to shake up this streamlined model of demonstration and transaction, because it involves a retail sale process more akin to the jewelry market than the tech market. Forbes contributor Gary Allen recently noted that consumers will take more time trying on the watches and deciding whether or not to make a purchase.
“As an item of fashion instead of technology,” he wrote, “buying an Apple Watch will be less demonstration, and more consideration. There will be fewer minutes spent running software and more time spent contemplating the various colors, sizes and band options, and how they appear on the wrist.”
Apple is rumored to be installing more in-store seating for its customers at the launch of the Apple Watch, in an effort to make them more comfortable as they walk around the store and consider how the watch looks and works. Additionally, the small size and high value of the watches will require that they remain locked under glass cases until a sales associate removes them for a hands-on customer experience.
Whatever your own store’s retail sales approach is, consider upgrading your point of sale retail software to give your customers an even more efficient transaction experience.