When I bought my iPhone, I was shocked by a few things:
- That I had to have an appointment ahead of time to purchase. The Toronto downtown Apple store runs out of appointments early in the day and I had gone there at 6pm or so. I lucked out in that I talked a manager into letting me buy one anyway.
- That there is no clear process on how to buy anything in the store. And what processes do exist seem to change based on the whims of the people working in the store that day/hour.
- That the handhelds ran Windows CE.
So while the Apple guy waited for the very slow Rogers system to activate my phone, we chatted about these things. He said that the appointment system gives a sense of scarcity that makes people want to buy. Definitely research in this area. He also said that the handhelds were required because there's no way to attach card readers or other devices to iPhones. I could see that.
I'm still frustrated by the no clear process for buying things. The appointment system still drives me crazy: I don't always know when I'm going to have time to be in a store and I'm more of a "I'll pick one up the next time I'm there" type shopper, not a "I'll make an appointment for next week to go buy one."
Everytime I go into the store, the place or the person I'm supposed to be to actually make the purchase is different, based on how busy they are. Do they have no signs, no WalMart greeter, whatver to say "go here to give us money". Go there to buy a computer.
The Toronto stores are so jam packed with people using the devices to just surf it's hard to tell who is working, who is shopping, and who is playing. So having some sort of indicator of how to get assistance would help. Shirts are the easiest.