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Apple's Retail Self-Checkout Doing Well, Strong Promotion Coming at Grand Central

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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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CNBC reports on word from a source who claims that Apple has been very pleased with customer usage of the EasyPay self-checkout system for its retail stores. Under the system, customers can use the Apple Store app on their iPhones to scan shelf-stocked items in an Apple retail store and pay for them using their iTunes Store accounts. Customers can simply walk out of the store after the transaction is completed without needing to speak with any store employees.




The report does not offer any specifics on the program's performance, but vaguely suggests that it is at least meeting expectations.
Apple's self checkout revolution may have seemed a bit crazy, but it's apparently working out.

That's what I hear from a source familiar with Apple's retail operation.

...

The intelligence I'm getting is that the benefits of the new system are outweighing any negatives.
The report notes that Apple is also expected to heavily promote the self-checkout feature at its new Grand Central Terminal store set to open on Friday. With the open floor plan and throngs of commuters quickly passing through the store, the feature will likely be a popular one for store visitors.

While some have been skeptical of the usefulness of the self-checkout feature, many customers had expressed frustration at difficulties with getting the attention of store employees to complete simple transactions, and the new self-checkout avoids that situation entirely while freeing those staff members for more specialized consultation and training with other customers. Apple has reportedly noted that it envisions self-checkout and another system in which customers can pickup online orders in-store eventually being the primary ways in which customers make purchases from Apple retail stores.

Article Link: Apple's Retail Self-Checkout Doing Well, Strong Promotion Coming at Grand Central
 

ERIC273

macrumors 6502
Mar 31, 2009
357
0
NJ
Used it for my Power Support For my iPhone 4s, I almost got tackled by security!
 
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840quadra

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 1, 2005
8,234
3,535
Twin Cities Minnesota
I forgot to give the system a shot when I reported to my local store to pick up some replacement in-ear headphones. I like the idea of the system, just won't feel comfortable using it. :eek:
 
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tylerk36

macrumors member
Feb 22, 2009
76
0
Self checkout. Sounds like a thief could just walk in with an iPhone and pretend to go through the motions and then walk out with product. Unless Apple has some way of really keeping track of this.
 
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profets

macrumors 601
Mar 18, 2009
4,703
4,881
Used it for my Power Support For my iPhone 4s, I almost got tackled by security!

Self checkout. Sounds like a thief could just walk in with an iPhone and pretend to go through the motions and then walk out with product. Unless Apple has some way of really keep track of this.

Yeah it's honestly weird. I was at the store in the US the other day picking up a case for a MBA, and the apple employee told me to use my iPhone. Didn't work as my apple ID is not an american one. But they used their iPod touch to do the transaction. No receipt or bag though, and I walked through half the store with the case in hand and no proof that I paid for it. I walked out looking as if I could have just grabbed it off the shelf.
 
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Amazing Iceman

macrumors 601
Nov 8, 2008
4,114
1,740
Florida, U.S.A.
Self checkout. Sounds like a thief could just walk in with an iPhone and pretend to go through the motions and then walk out with product. Unless Apple has some way of really keeping track of this.

It's called Find my iDevice, heheh!
Maybe that iPhone that burned out in Brazil was remotely eliminated for being a hot item. :D


On another note, don't you think it's about time Apple made this App Universal???
 
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nightcap965

macrumors 6502a
Feb 11, 2004
679
682
Cape Cod
Apple Customers Are Honest, I Guess

I bought a replacement set of headphones with Self-Checkout, and waltzed out the door feeling vaguely guilty.

I asked an Apple employee how they could tell I'd paid for it, and he said they couldn't.

They're not stupid, so I'm sure they've calculated the risk to several decimal points. I'm not sure I like it, though.
 
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ModestForumName

macrumors regular
Apr 11, 2010
167
2
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

profets said:
Used it for my Power Support For my iPhone 4s, I almost got tackled by security!

Self checkout. Sounds like a thief could just walk in with an iPhone and pretend to go through the motions and then walk out with product. Unless Apple has some way of really keep track of this.

Yeah it's honestly weird. I was at the store in the US the other day picking up a case for a MBA, and the apple employee told me to use my iPhone. Didn't work as my apple ID is not an american one. But they used their iPod touch to do the transaction. No receipt or bag though, and I walked through half the store with the case in hand and no proof that I paid for it. I walked out looking as if I could have just grabbed it off the shelf.

I do love how they incorporate their own technology into their retail operations.
 
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ChristianVirtual

macrumors 601
May 10, 2010
4,112
278
日本
They should have a little label printer you have to walk to pickup a sticker as visual confirmation. I really wonder how the security guys will differentiate the honest customer from the less honest shop-lifter. Ok, the will have some training on that one, for sure.

Or Apple developed a high level of trust in statistics that the ratio of honest and dishonest is still on the profit side.

I like the idea though as its true that in many cases I had to wait quite some time for a little piece.
 
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Shrink

macrumors G3
Feb 26, 2011
8,931
1,606
New England, USA
Self checkout. Sounds like a thief could just walk in with an iPhone and pretend to go through the motions and then walk out with product. Unless Apple has some way of really keeping track of this.

I mentioned this in a post on an earlier thread, and received replies saying it wouldn't be a problem. I still don't see how this can work.

The Honor System??:rolleyes:
 
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nick219

macrumors newbie
Oct 23, 2011
15
28
I bought a replacement set of headphones with Self-Checkout, and waltzed out the door feeling vaguely guilty.

I asked an Apple employee how they could tell I'd paid for it, and he said they couldn't.

They're not stupid, so I'm sure they've calculated the risk to several decimal points. I'm not sure I like it, though.

very interesting that they admitted that they cannot tell if you paid for it.
 
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mrlhxc

macrumors member
Aug 25, 2010
31
0
sounds good, i guess

I want some confirmation when I buy something in a store. Is there a way they email you a receipt kind of like how the app store / iTunes is? How do they confirm you paid for it if you return for support? I like the idea because I went to buy a case for my wife and waited around forever before someone got to me but i also want to have confirmation its mine.
 
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HarryKeogh

macrumors 6502a
Jun 25, 2008
595
751
Seriously, how do they prevent theft?

I'd like to know too. I spent a lot of time in retail in NYC and one thing I learned...there's a small but significant number of people who love to steal anything that isn't nailed down.
 
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nightcap965

macrumors 6502a
Feb 11, 2004
679
682
Cape Cod
I want some confirmation when I buy something in a store. Is there a way they email you a receipt kind of like how the app store / iTunes is? How do they confirm you paid for it if you return for support? I like the idea because I went to buy a case for my wife and waited around forever before someone got to me but i also want to have confirmation its mine.

Sure - the receipt is emailed as usual. And it's available for viewing in the Apple Store app.
 
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Trauma1

macrumors 6502a
Jun 15, 2009
585
2
They should have a little label printer you have to walk to pickup a sticker as visual confirmation. I really wonder how the security guys will differentiate the honest customer from the less honest shop-lifter. Ok, the will have some training on that one, for sure.

Or Apple developed a high level of trust in statistics that the ratio of honest and dishonest is still on the profit side.

I like the idea though as its true that in many cases I had to wait quite some time for a little piece.

The whole point of this system is that it eliminates the need to interact with any staff members. Having to wait for any sort of tangible proof of purchase defeats the whole purpose.

Besides, a customer could have always requested an email receipt, no bag, and just walk out with the product in hand. Yes, the stores do have stickers that indicate a purchase, but they really do not push them too hard.
 
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mjsanders5uk

macrumors regular
May 11, 2009
100
0
In the UK, self checkout tills are becoming very popular in supermarkets (I'm in London so not sure outside of the capital).

In one branch of a supermarket near where I live in London they are making sure staff are attending the tills as much as possible as its was very popular for people to go through the motions of scanning stuff then simply walking away before paying.

There will always be people who want to try it on and they probably will, and then the information will start to flow amongst the criminals and the losses will get too big and Apple will close it down.
 
Comment

ipedro

macrumors 603
Nov 30, 2004
5,444
6,550
Toronto, ON
How does Apple prevent theft? Statistics.

1 - Most people are honest and won't blatantly steal.
2 - For those who aren't honest, most are hesitant to steal.
3 - Of those, a broad portion don't have the balls to risk getting caught.

Now, prevention:
1 - Add roaming and random staff checks of customers leaving with merchandise. This catches thieves but also discourages people in point 2 and 3.
2 - Existing employees are still in the store and will interact with customers and help them pay for their merchandise.

Who's left? The suspicious guy in the corner who doesn't want to talk to staff when approached. Ask him for his receipt on the way out.

Now we're down to the very few who are probably already shoplifters and will steal regardless of whether a system like this is in place or not. All you've got now are experienced shoplifters. They would otherwise hide the item and leave. What's changed is that they can do it out in the open where they're more likely to get caught. We might get less shoplifting, not more or at least catch more of those shoplifters who would steal in hiding anyway.

Self checkout is for lower priced items so even if Apple has a 0.5% theft (1 in every 200 items in the store) which is extremely high, they would still save money on human resources and improve the experience for customers.
 
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lucasmonger

macrumors member
Aug 24, 2008
62
0
Illinois
worried about theft

If you think about how the Apple Store is laid out, the expensive stuff is in the back and someone has to bring it to you anyway. The stuff hanging on the walls are relatively inexpensive (cases, software, charging cables) so losing a few of those while selling many more because people are alleviated from waiting for a free employee seems to make sense. Plus, most people don't want a criminal record hanging over them... makes it tough to apply for jobs, work for the government, etc.
 
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