A new challenge demands new solutions. Convenient Apple Pickup is not an innovation customers don’t know they want yet, it’s a feature customers are demanding today. I don’t think it’s entirely a coincidence that Pickup areas emerged six months into the pandemic, buoyed by the net of Express Storefronts during iPhone launch season.
There’s another risk to betting on a customer-facing solution designed in secret: misaligned expectations. By tweaking Pickup store by store, Apple can evaluate feedback from customers and employees to build an experience that meets everyone’s needs.
It’s still the early days. Store plans have been retrofit and a Boardroom was removed to accommodate Pickup fixtures. Only two stores open today were totally designed with Pickup in mind from the start. As Apple’s ideas for these new spaces converge, look to Apple The Mall at Bay Plaza and Apple Wuhan to see the future.