Last night we took our children to the Burlington Mall for our son’s birthday dinner. His choice, he loves that place. Anyway, I wanted to pick up an Apple Magic Mouse and I had the Apple Store application installed on my iPhone. We walked down to the store, I launched the app & watched it’s UI change once we stepped inside.
We walked to the back of the store, I scanned the bar code on the Mighty Mouse & <blip> it was ready for purchase. I selected to buy it (using my iTunes account obviously) and was prompted for the security code on the back of the card associated with my iTunes account. Clever thing that… so if someone snags your camera with that app on it, they can’t just start ringing stuff up. I’ve heard that it only happens the first time & then it’s set. I don’t know.
Immediately I received my email receipt. The whole process took all of about 10 seconds and I didn’t have to find an employee to ring me up. Awesome.
I asked an employee on my way out how they don’t have people just walking out with stuff. Obviously they studied a manual and they had a prepared line to tell me, “Apple trusts it’s visitors.” That’s nice, but it can’t possibly end there. I wonder if the email receipt is something that they might stop you to see if you’re on your way out with some Apple products and they suspect that you didn’t purchase them.
Or perhaps when a purchase is made, they get a push notification of who purchased and what was purchased. So they would know it’s okay without actually having to approach. If the store is jammed, I imagine it would be harder to keep tabs, so I’m not sure what they do at that point.
Perhaps they have security people and that’s it? I suppose they could afford the occasional shoplift. The benefit of having more impulse buys probably outweighs the problem of stolen merchandise. Those stores move a ton of product from what I’ve seen.