Apple updated their Apple Store app to version 2.0 today. Primarily, the Apple Store app acts as a refined interface for purchasing items from Apple’s online store. It also has a nice tie-in with Apple’s retail stores, allowing you to set up Genius Bar appointments or One-to-One training.
Today’s update further strengthens that tie-in to the retail stores.
First, when you are using the app to shop for an item, you have the option to have it shipped to you (the usual method), or you can now see if the item is available for pickup at your local Apple Store. If it is, you can checkout via the app, and your purchases will be set aside and ready to pick up in about an hour.
Second, some items at Apple retail stores are now labeled for what Apple calls EasyPay — basically, self check-out. So far this is limited to accessories. Let’s say you want a Smart Cover for your iPad. You can now pick it up, launch the Apple Store app, then use your iPhone’s camera to scan the barcode. This will bring up more information about the item, and the ability to purchase it. To purchase, you simply sign in to your Apple ID, and the linked credit or debit card is charged. Finally, you can just leave the store.
This move shows Apple is placing a fair amount of trust in its customers. Certainly, theft could very well become an issue, but I am sure Apple has put some sort of process in place to minimize that.
Overall, EasyPay looks to be a way for a tech-savvy, informed customer to walk in, grab the accessory they need, pay for it, and be on their way without having to interact with staff.
I, for one, am quite excited about that.