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An Inside Look at Apple’s New In-Store Pickup Service

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Apple is continuing to roll out ways that streamline the shopping process, including a new retail self-checkout app and the ability to pick up online purchases in select stores.

Late last week, The New York Times took a look at Apple’s internal retail software that responds to customer requests for assistance and further streamlines the process of picking up online purchases. The report offers a rare glimpse into Apple’s internal software.

A store employee, Diego Aguirre, demonstrated an internal application running on iPod Touches that, for the last few weeks, has had the ability to show the in-store location of a shopper who has come to pick up a purchase.

Using using geo-fencing, the app sends an alert to employees when a customers has entered the store to pick up an online purchase. The aim is to make the pickup process even faster for customers.

The iPod Touches of Apple employees show these customer requests and give employees the option to respond to them. The app then shows an illustration of the shopping floor and highlights the customer’s location in red.

An Apple employee can bring the purchase to the customer without them having to single an employee down. Of course, this is contingent on that customer having made the purchase on their iPhone using the official Apple Store app, and that they brought that iPhone with them.

Aguirre indicated that 16 customers used the location feature to pickup purchases at the company’s Palo Alto, Calif., store last Friday.

While there is no indication of these services being available at Canadian Apple Stores, Apple has indicated that it plans to roll the service out as they perfect the system.

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