There was a time that the technology mattered when you bought a new PC. The out of town pc superstore or the town centre electronics store were basically crowded warehouses of products that you just bought. Mostly you didn't ask an assistant for help because they were only bothered to earn a commission and, for any IT Pro, they didn't know a lot about the product.

The stores are still there but these days IT Pros buy from the Internet and the stores are looking a little tired and old fashioned.

This is not true of the Apple Store. The Apple Store is a new kind of technology shop. It is spacious and consciously a retail experience. There is little box shifting and the service desk looks like part of the experience. The control of what is in the store, how it looks and the simplicity of design is all part of the Apple brand.

If you are buying an Apple Mac then the choice is fairly simple. Clear names and brand identification. The prices are expensive but the brand, like most fashion stores, is expensive.

In fact if you just want to try the products they sit there openly on desks waiting to be tried. There are chairs so you can sit and use the products. There is in-store training so you understand how to use the hardware and software. The act of selling is also smooth. The till is actually a handheld scanner, credit card machine and device to send your receipt by email.

On the other hand the PC buying experience is a confusing mess of processor names, model numbers, features and the buyer can easily drift towards cheaper discounted models that don't really meet their needs.  The stores are crowded with items. Each pc has hardly enough space to move or try.

If consumers are buying technology based on the retail experience then Apple is doing very well and the rest need to step up and understand how consumers are changing.




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