Apple Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores Angela Ahrendts and Vice President of Retail Operations Jim Bean have informed retail staff that training materials for the in-store retail launch of the Apple Watch are being distributed. Employees were informed of this via a private video message.
Speaking of the imminent retail launch, Ahrendts told employees that “this is where the rubber hits the road, and now we need to make sure that we are above and beyond ready.” She added that Apple needs to “make sure that [it has] the best customer experience and that [this launch] is faster, smarter, and better than [Apple has] ever done before.” Because of the various Apple Watch models, Bean calls this a “different launch” in comparison to past products debuts.
Bean told employees, that “it’s going to be a little tougher to get everyone the exact [Watch] that they want,” so Apple will use a new “reserve and Pickup” online feature. Customers will be able to visit the Apple Online Store at 8AM each morning, and check to see if their local retail store has their desired model of Apple Watch in stock. If the particular model is in stock, the customer can reserve it and choose a time to pick it up.
Ahrendts told employees that this will be a launch “unlike any we’ve ever had before… this is what you were born to do, this is why you are at Apple.” Employees are also being encouraged to discuss the benefits of Apple Pay with customers. The Apple Watch brings Apple Pay abilities to users of iPhone 5, 5c, and 5s users. Apple Pay was previously limited to iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus handsets.
In related news, Apple has reportedly informed retail employees that they can begin allowing customers to play with a working Apple Watch demo unit if one is available. Previously, customers were limited to playing with a store model stuck to a table, or to wear a sample model running a demo software loop.