Apple’s retail stores are famous for their simplistic design and the highest rates of profit per square metre in the world – and experts are saying small businesses should heed the tech giant’s example in the lead-up to the Christmas.
The catalyst for the recommendation comes in the form of a new Apple marketing video, uncovered over a year after it was made.
The video, which is first and foremost a marketing tool, was uncovered by 9to5Mac. The first hint that it’s at least several months old comes in the form of retail head Ron Johnson’s appearance. Johnson, who pioneered the concept of the stores and the Genius Bar, left last year.
It’s typical Apple. Shots of smiling faces streaming into stores, playing with MacBooks and laughing. What’s more interesting is the underlying philosophy that’s explained alongside the video, about why Apple does what it does, and how it does it.
Apple took down the original video for copyright reasons. However, TechCrunch is still hosting a version of the video.
Local retail experts say it’s a philosophy SMEs should try to understand in the lead-up to Christmas. Apple’s retail concept, they say, can be applied across all sectors.
“One of the most important things to know about Apple is they move from telling, touching and understanding,” says Brian Walker, chief executive of the Retail Doctor Group.
“They start there, and then move on to have customers engage the products, to try them, to be inquisitive, to discover. They go from listening and understanding to engagement.”
Walker’s point is that all SMEs can learn from Apple’s philosophy – not just companies which sell technology – especially in the lead-up to Christmas.
Most importantly, he says, is the format of the stores. It reflects the brand’s position.
“If you look at the format, it’s incredibly simple. They let the products do the talking, but they also have buzz and energy. There’s good music playing, staff are happy and helpful.”
“It’s just simple. It’s quite complex technology presented in a simple way – and that’s extremely important.”
Kevin Moore, Crossmark Asia Pacific chief executive, says the other key point is something any business can take on board – a point of sale system that makes the user feel special and unique, with details about the user’s purchase history.
“I can walk into any one of the stores, engage with the product, and be using it like I would at home. The point of sale system backs that up.”
“It’s a circle. If you have a great product, you can make the money to create a better store environment.”
Check out the video. It’s syrupy stuff, but if you’re a retailer, there’ll be lessons in there you can use in the lead-up to Christmas.