Apple today announced a new way to buy iPhones. The company is introducing a new service, Shop with a Specialist, that will allow customers in the US to shop live via video on the apple.com website. The free service allows customers to browse the latest iPhone models, compare features, and have an Apple Specialist answer their questions and help them find the best deal through the Apple Trade In program or their carrier.
Customers can also learn more about the specific features of the iPhone, transition to iOS in general, and get help comparing the different phones, colors, sizes and more, Apple says. The service goes live starting today, just as the new yellow iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus go on sale.
While live video shopping is struggling to take off in the US and even Facebook and Instagram have recently disappeared from the market, the move to bring Apple retail specialists online is part of a larger shift at the company to bring more consumers to its e-commerce website. to complete their sale. Today, it’s no longer the norm for customers to line up at Apple retail stores on iPhone launch day, as many consumers now shop online and place pre-orders. But without going to the store, Apple is missing out on one of its most important specialties: the high-quality customer service that its retail specialists provide.
Apple says its new live shopping experience will be available on its Apple.com store website at apple.com/shop/buy-iphone and will be open every day between 7am and 7pm PT in the US. During the live video session, the Apple specialist will be in front of the camera and share their screen, but they will not be able to see the customer. They can help with a range of questions, from tech specs to deals to the various financing options Apple offers, and more. At launch, US customers can get up to $600 in credit toward the new iPhone 14 when they trade in an iPhone 11 or later through the new service, or through the Apple Store app or an Apple Store location.
The new service expands on other existing Apple customer support technologies, including the ability to talk to a real person to get help resolving technical issues through the Apple Support app, as an online extension of the Apple Genius. Bar.
The launch comes at a critical time for smartphone makers, as new reports indicated last year’s sales were the lowest in nearly a decade, or 11% down from 2021. While Apple held the top spot in shipments in the fourth quarter, Samsung beat it for the year with 257.9 million shipments and a 22% market share, versus Apple’s 232.2 million and 19% market share.
In addition, Apple ended the fourth quarter with its first-ever double-digit revenue decline due to Covid restrictions on its Chinese manufacturing facilities and weaker demand, according to the same Canalys report. It’s no surprise, then, that Apple is now boosting sales not only with the introduction of a new color iPhone in the middle of the iPhone 14 sales cycle, but also with a new way to shop for iPhone.
Moving on, we understand that Apple will expand the store with a specialist to its other flagship products beyond the iPhone.