Apple’s slick process for dealing with Watch purchases and walk-ins detailed

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Contradicting a recent 9to5Mac report which said only try-on appointments will be possible come April 10, sources told The Mac Observer that the appointment-only process will reportedly accommodate walk-in purchases, using a system similar to one recently instituted at Genius Bars in Apple’s real stores worldwide.

The Genius Bar will handle walk-ins by taking your phone number, allowing customers to run their errands and go about their business until they receive timely updates from the Genius Bar related to waiting times via SMS. Apple’s already using this system to handle purchases and is reportedly intending to tap it for the Watch as well.

“Apple Store staff are training to ensure customers have a full jewelry counter-style experience when trying and buying the Apple Watch,” reads the article.

What’s a full jewelry counter-style experience?

Well, not only does it involve special seats and jewelry mats, but also employees fully trained at the art of putting the Watch on your wrist.

Before a retail employee puts a Watch on your wrist, he or she will wipe the screen to clean it of all fingerprints and smudges, just like the company did at try-on stations during Watch media events.

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This nice touch is intended to ensure that “all customers see a pristine screen for their first experience.” Again, walk-ins will be handled by a new Genius Bar “customer journey” introduced back in February.

It’s designed specifically to improve the experience for customers walking in without appointments. Rather than wait around to be called, the Genius Bar now texts time estimates to users’ phone numbers as the appointment approaches, with a final update coming at the time one’s assigned Genius is available.

Sources say the system will be used for Watch try-on and sales appointments, too. “Advance appointments will work as expected, and walk-ins will be welcome with their experience modeled after the new Genius Bar journey process,” reads the article.

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This should help eliminate eventual lines, but it could also mean that would-be shoppers may not be given the opportunity to wait in the store once all of the appointments have been booked for a given day.

But what happens when the device goes on sale on April 24?

According to the publication, there will be two different appointments: one to try the device on and the other a sales appointment used to purchase it. And customers going in for a try-on will be also booked for two back-to-back appointments, first for a try-on and then for a sales appointment.

“This is intended to be a transparent experience for customers while allowing Apple Stores to properly manage sales-only appointments for people who pre-ordered with in-store pickup,” says the write-up.

Appointments will be made either through the Online Apple Store or via the Apple Store iOS app. And by marking different Watch and Band models as your favorites in the app, you are giving Apple the data necessary to make the purchasing experience as personal and efficient as possible.

Source: The Mac Observer