It has been sometime since I went to a mobile phone store, but I do remember that all the phones on display were fakes, plastic copies to give you an idea of how it looked and size, but had no functionality whatsoever and were very lightweight so bore no resemblance to how heavy the actual phones were.
How different it is at an Apple store. If you have been to an Apple store you will know that all the kit that is laid out is the real kit. It also all works too. If you want to make a phone call on the display iPhone, you can! Well you could the last time I tried… All the iPads have real apps on them that work, okay some are “lite” versions, but they do function as well as the real apps. I also like the fact that they have photographs in the photo albums, music, films and TV shows. You can really get a feel for how the iPad will work and how it would fit into your lifestyle and your needs. The same can be said for the Macs, which again are populated with Apps and content in a similar vein.
Another key feature of the Apple store is that all the devices can connect to the internet, so if you want to check how the web works on the device you can.
So what has that go to do with Staples as it says in the title of the blog post?
Well Staples could learn a lot from Apple about how best to present the kit they sell they have on display.
I was in there the other day and they had a really nice range of tablets on display, most were Android, but there was also the HP TouchPad.
Most had power, but not all.
None had anything on them except the default install, so no apps to try, no content to view or look at.
Though all had wifi, none could be used to access the internet as none of them were connected to the internet!
Really what was the point of having them on display, when the average consumer is going to have no idea about how they work and how they could fit into their lifestyle.
In a recent blog post of mine I said:
1.21 million Android tablets have been sold, and in the same time period 28.73 million iPads have been sold by Apple.
In that post I put the focus on the price and went on to say:
…with the iPad, though its price is more than the price of similar Android tablets, people buy the iPad because of factors other than price.
Well if the buying experience is anything to go by and I had to make a choice based purely on that, it’s a no brainer you would go for the iPad.
Apple have made a reputation in the retail business by providing a good retail experience. I am sure if Staples created a buying experience that matched the one you find in the Apple store I am pretty sure that the sales of Tablets in there would increase. By how much, probably double or even treble. It’s not that difficult, get the tablets to sell themselves.
I am sure it’s not entirely the fault of Staples, the suppliers of the tablets probably don’t provide anything either except perhaps a “demo reel”.
So have you bought a tablet from Staples or other retailer? What was your experience like?