May 23, 2011

Apple Using iPads for In-Store Marketing


There’s nothing quite like a bright, flashy sign alerting shoppers of sales and promotions. Apple, of course, being Apple, is taking it a bit further and rolling out something they like to call Apple Store 2.0.

Over the weekend, the company implemented a new sale signage system that uses its iPads next to every device on sale. Yes, you will even see an iPad next to an iPad telling you about the iPad.

Mounted on see-through plastic stands, the iPads are there to offer basic product advice, comparisons between different models, prices, and suggestions for upgrades and accessories. An iPad 2 is placed next to each iPhone, iPod and Mac in stores and runs a custom WebApp which allows customers to view product info, prices, compare devices and more

Each iPad also offers a “Specialist” tab in the bottom right corner, which alerts store staff to your location in the store. They also carry their own iPad 2 which receives the notification. Of course, these are not to be used as the sample iPads on display for tinkering purposes. Hit the home button and you’ll be disappointed – it won’t do a thing. These iPads are locked down so that they can do their particular job, and that is sell you what’s in front of you.

The company is calling the iPads “smart signs” and encouraging customers to use them as a touchscreen signboard. It gets potential customers to try out the iPad and it suggests that Apple also considers the tablets the product to promote right now.

This new shopping experience coincides with the company’s 10th anniversary of its original stores.

Boy Genius Report posted a story earlier this week saying that Apple store employees could not take off time during the weekend and were required to attend a training session on Sunday.

“We have just received some information from a solid Apple source, and if they’re right, Apple may be planning something big for its 10th retail anniversary this Thursday the 19th,” the report said, which implied rumors that Apple was planning a surprise product launch to mark a decade of Apple Stores worldwide.

Apple opened its first two retail stores on May 19, 2001 with one at Tysons Corner Center in McLean, Va., followed by the Glendale Galleria store in Glendale, Calif. The company has since gone on to open more than 320 others, with most in U.S. cities.

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Michelle Amodio is a TechZone360 contributor. She has helped promote companies and groups in all industries, from technology to banking to professional roller derby. She holds a bachelor's degree in Writing from Endicott College and currently works in marketing, journalism, and public relations as a freelancer.

Edited by Jennifer Russell



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