In anticipation of the holiday seasons, Apple is planning to start allowing customers to do in-store pickup for online orders. Which means you can do your shopping online at home, then pick it up at one of their many retail locations. This allows the shoppers the convenience of online shopping but gives them the option of in-store personal setup. This will apply to custom orders for Macs, gift wrapping and even products with engravings. Shoppers can also authorize other people to pick up the items. Unfortunately, it doesn’t apply to iPhones, so you’d still have to wake up early and stand in line for those.
Apple is also updating its own Apple store app on iPhone/iPod to incorporate EasyPay that allows customers to check themselves out for accessories purchases. EasyPay is the same platform Apple employees use to complete those in-store credit card purchases. Since higher priced Apple products are all stocked up in the backroom, you’ll still have to find the help of an employee. Expect the update in a few days on November 3rd, just in time for the holidays.
Apple is not slouching on its online store either. The online Apple store will also start allowing multiple shipping address for the same order, which means you’ll be able to purchase your gifts all in one order and ship it all over the country. Saving you time and the annoyance of going through the checkout process over and over again.
Update 10/31/11 14:05 CDT: The EasyPay update to the Apple Store app is only coming to iPhone 4 and 4S owners. So those of you that are still on the earlier iPhones or the iPod Touch will still have to wait in line just like everyone else.
Update 10/31/11 17:34 CDT: Self-checkout through EasyPay will only be available for “non-serialized” products. So this will exclude items on the “Accessories wall” such as Apple’s own Time Capsule and Apple TV from self-checkout. Ironically high priced items such as B&W’s Zeppelin speakers ($600) is considered a non-serialized item. I wonder how it’ll work out for the blue-shirted folks on the floor…?