An Inside Look at Apple’s New In-Store Pickup Service

A few weeks ago, Apple updated its retail store app with multiple new features. The two that really stood out were the EasyPay self-checkout option and the new in-store pickup service.

The New York Times got a glimpse of the latter feature in action yesterday during the Black Friday sale at a SoCal Apple Store. Utilizing customer tracking software, the service is actually quite interesting…

Somehow, The Times got an Apple employee to give it a first hand look at the store’s internal iPhone software used for the new in-store pickup service. The company generally goes through great lengths to keep its retail trade secrets, well, a secret.

“A store employee demonstrated an internal iPhone application that, for the last few weeks, has had the ability to show the in-store location of a shopper who has come to pick up a purchase.

An iPhone owner can use the free Apple Store app to shop before entering the store. When she arrives, the app’s location feature alerts store workers on their iPhones, and they can find her and bring over her purchases.”

Apple says that in-store pickup orders can be ready within an hour, but we’ve heard real-world service times of less than half that. Although other retailers have offered in-store pickups for quite a while now, none of them match this level of convenience.

Imagine ordering a couple of items from Apple while at work, and swinging by your local retail store on your way home. No waiting in line, no customer service desks. Staff members are alerted the second you pull up, and practically hand you your bags as you walk in.

If only all retail stores (and some restaurants) were like this.

Has anyone tried Apple’s in-store pickup service yet?