Unless you have been living under a rock, there is a new device on the market that is attempting to take over the wearable technology segment. The Apple Watch. A device that has already been essentially sold out and if you missed the pre-sale and decided to wait and see the device yourself in person before dropping anywhere from $350 to over $17K for the gold Watch Edition, is understandable for a device that is so personal as a watch.
However, Apple is determined to stoke the desire in people for the device and allow those that did get a pre-order in, a chance to see what they have just spent their hard earned money for using try on appointments.
I've decided to skip the pre-sale mania and wait for the reviews to roll in before I make a decision to spend my money. So to satiate my curiosity, I scheduled a try on appointment and today drove into my local Apple Store to see the mystical device.
I arrived for my 11 a.m. appointment about 10 minutes early and was cheerfully greeted at the door and quickly escorted to an Apple Watch Specialist. The young woman was cordial and listened to which device I was interested in trying on. Unfortunately, the one model I wanted to see and try on, the 42mm Apple Watch, Space-Grey, sapphire crystal face, with metal band, price tag of $1099 was not available for trying on. So, I had to resort to the Sport and Watch versions. The screens we're not active for hands on testing and just cycled through an endless loop showing some of the features. I asked the woman if she could explain how the space grey's coating was created and how durable it was to scratching and she did not know, only claiming it was made of very strong material. I thought it was odd to describe it this way and not using technical details, I guess she was still in training. The woman allowed me to try on three different models with a black leather loop, Milanese loop, and black sport bands. She did not rush me and allowed me to take my time and explore the device. Understandably, only one watch was removed at a time from the hidden drawer, opened using her customized iPhone device. After 5 minutes or so I returned the last watch I was trying on to her and asked if she could point out to me the space-grey version so I could at least look at it, and she said that there was one in the second display and motioned to the second table. I assumed she was going to secure the hidden drawer and walk me over and point out the watch in question, but instead she looked down to an information kiosk on the top of the table and returned to what I assumed was her "training". I ended up walking over alone to the other table and had to squint and figure out which one was the space-grey model I wanted to really see. I found it and though it looks nice, holding it my hand and trying it on would have been nice. At this point, I decided I had enough window shopping and decided to leave. I decided it would be rude to just walk out the door (though I doubt my specialist would have noticed) so I walked back to my specialist still deep in "training" and thanked her for her time and left the store.
So, how would I score Apple in their new foray into "high end jewelry store like" retail sales? Not great from what I saw.
Apple, you make great technology and your customer service is unparalleled, but you have a lot to learn in this new endeavor. Ignoring your customer, and motioning them to the general direction of where an item is located at rather than walking them over is reminiscent of the experience you normally have in a grocery store. I hope things change soon and we are not beginning to see a different side of your retail experience. As to what I thought about the watch, I really like it, though having to wait nearly 3 months or so just to get one stinks. I guess I will wait for version 2.0.