1-click purchasing in meatspace

Mike Hyatt writes:

Today I went to the local Apple Store. I needed to pick up a small adapter, so I could use my favorite head phones with my new iPhone. When I arrived, I was surprised by the crowd. The store was jammed with people. But I was almost immediately greeted by an Apple clerk, who asked if she could help me.

There were probably ten clerks in the store but only one was behind the counter. The rest were mingling with the “guests.” Each of them wore a lime green shirt and carried a handheld credit card processor.

My clerk led me to the item I wanted and asked if I needed anything else. I told her that I wanted to browse for a few minutes. She said, “Fine. Let me know if I can help you further.” A few moments later, I found another clerk on the floor and told him I was ready to check out. He swiped my card and asked if I wanted to have the receipt printed out or e-mailed to me. I said, “E-mail,” and since I had purchased using this credit card before, they already had my e-mail address in their system. I was done and on my way in less than a minute.

Maybe this is old news to some of you.  I don’t know since I don’t do much in Apple stores besides drool.  But this is probably a great example of the internet teaching better practices to other areas of life.  Of course, much of the improvement is due to the decreasing size and increasing portability of the technology.  But still, someone had to think of using it that way.  I wouldn’t be surprised if the idea didn’t originate from someone saying, “I wish real reality could be this fast.”

One thought on “1-click purchasing in meatspace

  1. Jandy

    That’s great! They’ve done that at restaurants in the UK for a few years–well, I don’t know about the receipt e-mailing thing, but they have handheld card readers so the servers can do everything right at your table–and I can’t imagine why they don’t here. It’s so much easier and faster and doesn’t require you to entrust your card to the server while they go swipe it. I have seen McDonalds with wireless menu-button boxes to take orders outside on busy drive-thru days, but not with card-readers built in.


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