With so much hype about the Apple’s first wearable going around, one should expect vigilance from Apple itself regarding the product. This certainly doesn’t seem to be the case, however. Confused sale representatives, extreme secrecy regarding the buying procedure of the Apple watch and with more security in an Apple store than at any high end fashion jewelry vendor, all the would-be customers are nothing but confused.
The excitement that led people to form lines outside Apple stores as early as 7 am in the morning has been replaced with questions, doubts and ambiguities.
The Apple watch have been made available for pre-fittings in Apple stores but the staff does not quite know how to handle the process. Overwhelming combinations offered by Apple for this gadget have apparently confused the staff. Not more than two watches are allowed out of the safe at a given time therefore, customers have to keep waiting for their turn to get their hands on the Apple watch.
The watch arrives with a guard and is handled as a top notch fashion delicacy although the stores that actually do that, do not keep their customers waiting. The staff does not know how to throw in effective sales pitches to the customer which only adds to the customer’s desperation.
Apple has offered 38 combinations of watch bands, models and metal finishes making it the most complicated product Apple stores have had to handle until now. Although, this has provided the customers with a lot of options to choose from. Apple’s “Come in and Play” has been their strongest marketing point but it would be interesting to note that the Apple watch is the first product that has been in the stores before it has actually been open for sale.
The scheduled fittings have been a great way to introduce eager would-be customers to the gadget but the delay in the actual sales has actually started to take its toll now. People have been coming in huge numbers to the Apple stores hoping that they will be able to buy the most awaited smart watch of the year but they only have had to face disappointment.
Apple has been practicing extreme secrecy with regards to the purchasing method of the Apple watch. Customers will no longer be able to stop by their nearest Apple store and buy an Apple watch. Instead a reservation system has been devised to cater for all sales related to the Apple watch. The story of the customers who pre-ordered is no less tragic. People have been waiting to hear from the sales department about any shipment update but there has been none.
The preordered watches had been said to arrive by 24th April, but people have their doubts on that. Apple site stated that the watch would arrive by 24th April only to later change this to “the Watch is coming” leaving all those who preordered amidst chaos and confusion.
A very surprising advancement in the matter, however, is that some high end fashion retailers will be selling the Apple watch too along with the Apple stores. So if you are looking to own a watch at the earliest, stopping by any luxury boutique might come in handy. This reveals Apple’s strategy for the sale of the Apple watch not just as a high tech, wrist worn computer but also as a fashion accessory.
It is estimated that almost 2 million Apple watches have been preordered starting 10th April, the day when the Apple watch went on sale. This, when compared to the total shipment of smart watches by all the vendors combined for 2014, which was a mere 4.6 million in 2014, seems like a huge win for Apple. The CEO, Cook has been seen stating that the Apple watch is the “most personal device”, the company has ever worked on.
At the current pace, Apple is estimated to deliver 15.4 million Apple watches in 2015 alone which will account for 54.8% of the global smart watch market. This will pave way for Apple to snatch Samsung’s lead and knock it to number two.
Apple hired some big names in the industry recently like Angela Ahrendts. She had been working as CEO for Burberry until late 2013. The same time that the Apple watch has arrived, Angela’s first year at Apple as the head of online and in-store retail has come to an end.
Ahrendt who has been known to triple Burberry’s sale in a year is seriously in need of pulling a card or two out of her hat. The chaotic Apple store environment is opposite to that of any high end fashion retailer but it is pretty obvious that by Hiring Ahrendt, Apple is set on an expedition to change how people buy Apple products. Ahrendt herself has been quite ambitious so as to revolutionize the Apple store environment as she once indicated by drawing a comparison between the Apple store environment with the environment that of any posh fashion brand.
Apple CEO Tim Cook is under no less scrutiny by the public in general and tech analysts in particular. With the apple watch roll out, he needs to prove that Apple can do as good as it had been under Jobs’ supervision. Cook needs the Apple watch to be a success in order to establish the fact that he and his team have filled the void created by Jobs’ death.
Jobs alone changed the image of Apple by diverting the focus of the company on producing quality smart phones that were high-tech but at the same time flaunted an excellent design. It’s about time that Cook does something same with the Apple watch as it is the only logical way for him and Apple to survive in a highly competitive market environment.
The best for Apple to do now is not to scare away customers by offering a highly confusing process but by making the Apple watch available readily to all who are eager to buy it. It is a flashy piece of tech that can set back a person’s account by $17,000 dollars if bought in gold. Therefore, Apple needs to devise a process that will allow for the customer to feel the luxurious experience throughout the buying process.