The culture at Apple retail stores is getting a major overhaul to prepare for the Apple Watch’s launch next month. 9to5Mac has the skinny on the “profound” ways the retail experience will change, and it sounds more akin to visiting your favorite clothing store than an electronics brand. Apple hasn’t been shy about catering to the fashion-conscious crowd, and its retail experience will bring that to an all-new level in April.
Apple isn’t treating its Apple Watch like just another gadget, but an important fashion accessory. Here’s what 9to5Mac had to say.
Apple is pushing for retail employees to initiate conversations that build trust, enabling the employee to serve as a valued fashion advisor during the purchase process, similarly to how traditional watches are sold.
Employees have been told to make comments such as “you seem to have a fun style. I think the Pink Sport band would match your style perfectly,” or “the white strap looks great on you.”
9to5Mac mentions several different suggestions an Apple employee might make based on a customer’s style; there are a few “sample personas” Apple has designed, indicating the kind of buyers the company expects will be interested in the Apple Watch.
“Don’t focus on price as a reason to recommend an option because many customers may be willing to spend more for a model that makes them feel good,” one of the suggestions reads. There are also many sample customers comments that Apple expects to hear when its wearable launches, including “I love how it will coordinate with many of my outfits,” and not, “Wow, this smartwatch improves my life.”
9to5Mac points out that Apple’s approach is meant to emphasize fashion over function, which is definitely a change from the company’s long-time “it just works” mantra. Apple has hired a handful of people familiar with the fashion industry, so it’s no surprise to hear its retail stores are adopting tried and true retail practices.
In addition to providing fashion advice when the Apple Watch launches, Apple employees will also be expected to push iPhone upgrades, find out why people are interested in the company’s wearable in the first place, and to determine which model to sell consumers.
Apple will let people schedule try-on appointments at its stores beginning April 10, so put on your best outfit now, because the fashion police are ready to judge.