It happens here: Consumer-centric Innovation in Charlotte and beyond

Black Friday Delighter by Nheeda Enriquez

flickr photo credit: highstrungloner

My love affair with Apple is no secret, and this probably doesn’t qualify as a delighter so much as an enabling process innovation, but while I was at home last week in NYC, I made a pit stop at the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue.

Unfortunately, it was also Black Friday, and given that the product I needed was for myself and not a gift, I gasped when I saw the hundreds of shoppers as I walked down the grand spiral staircase.  The thought of waiting in an enormous line to pay for a little FM transmitter made me want to do without it for one more road trip.

But then I discovered that every store associate was a walking point of sale.  Each one was armed with what seemed like an iPhone on steroids, complete with bar code scanner and credit card slot.  They emailed a receipt to an address already tied to the credit card from a previous purchase and I was in and out in less than 5 minutes.

What a game-changer!  Apple banks a lot more sales per hour, they save their customers gobs of time, and they have a system that can be licensed to other retailers on a platform of products they already sell.  Genius.

2 Comments so far
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I remember when that first happened to me – I was just as enamored of them. Who knew a retail experience could be *unexpectedly delightful.* I was equally delighted when I got home and plugged in my airtunes for the very first time. Sigh.

Comment by lorraine

The other thing that happened while I was there was that all the employees (and there were at least 50 of them on the floor) started applauding, as if it had struck a specific time. I think they were celebrating their customers (and all the money they were spending,) so that part might qualify as a true “delighter” because I’m telling you about it now.

Comment by Nheeda Enriquez

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