Friday, March 09, 2007

Why Apple is the best retailer in America

From Why Apple is the best retailer in America:
The most striking thing, though, is what you don't see. No. 1: clutter. Jobs has focused Apple's resources on fewer than 20 products, and those have steadily been shrinking in size. Backroom inventory, then, can shrink in physical volume even as sales volume grows. Also missing, at the newest stores, anyway, is a checkout counter. The system Apple developed, EasyPay, lets salespeople wander the floor with wireless credit-card readers and ask, "Would you like to pay for that?
A while back I wrote about my experience in my college bookstore:
When I was in college the campus bookstore had this policy: no students were allowed to take their backpacks into the store. You had to drop your backpacks into cubbies in the entrance, and hope their contents remained safe from the very criminal element that the bookstore was trying to protect itself from. It was pathetic. This store decided to take their problem (shoplifters) and transfer the problem to us (the honest student). They basically told every student who walked through the door that A) they didn't trust you, and B) they weren't competent enough to handle their problem without alienating their customers.
Now consider the difference between these two stores. On the one hand, you're told that you're trusted, and people help you. On the other hand, you're told that you're not trusted, and the store's logistical and security problems are dumped on you.

Now consider my experience the other day when I downloaded Microsoft's DST update.
Validation Required This download is available to customers running genuine Microsoft Windows. Please click the Continue button to begin Windows validation.
I was forced to first download and install Microsoft's Genuine Advantage utility. This little gem is a piece of software you have to use to prove to Microsoft that you're not a thief. Like the bookstore book bag experience, I'm sure it helps Microsoft tremendously. But, like that annoying person at the exit to Best Buy and Comp USA who stops you to make sure you're not stealing, it's annoying and degrading. It's exactly an example of how not to do business. When I have alternatives, I require better service. Or at least, I require that I not be treated like a criminal first, and a customer second.


Blogger brent said...

I am really tempted to apply for an Mac Genius position at the new Fresno store :)

although it seems a little presumptuous to apply for a job with "genius" in the title :)

2:57 PM  

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