While Apple Store openings have remained fairly flat in the US, the brand did give the physical locations some serious stage time. But apart from the tactics and approaches that make the in-store experience at Apple so compelling, the visits to actual locations can also signify the wider excitement the brand is generating. With the launch of the iPhone 11 in all of its ‘how many cameras do you really need’ glory, we decided to compare September store visits Year over Year as an indication of the interest generated.
Looking at only in-store visits, there is a strong indication that this year’s launch was better received than the release of the iPhone XS and XS Max in 2018. The Saturday following the launch of the iPhone in 2018 was 51.6% above the baseline for the period from August 2018 through September 18th, 2019. Yet, the Saturday following the 2019 launch was 88.8% above, a significant boost. Even weekday visits rose above the rates being hit in the weeks leading up to the launch. It is also critical to remember that an in-store visit is a significant way of showing generated excitement as it requires far more than a website visit or a look to see whether a new phone plan covers the most recent Apple iteration.
Making this all the more exciting is the view that comes when you take into account monthly visits for the same period - excluding September 2019 where the full month was yet to take place at the time of writing. August 2018 saw visits that were 6.0% below the period’s baseline, while August 2019 saw visits that were 24.7% above. These are powerful indications of a brand that is finding new levels of strength and resonance.
And these metrics are aligning with other key indicators of iPhone success that could portend an especially powerful time for Apple products.
BOPIS to the Rescue
‘Buy Online, Pickup In-Store’ is a huge trend empowering retailers to maximize their physical footprint while bringing cohesion with online efforts. And the latest brand to dive into the process is Stein Mart, with the company announcing the option across all of their locations. The company expected to see 15% of their orders fulfilled through this channel, while also enabling incremental gains from the in-store visits.
And the in-store visits may be the most important element for the off-price retailer. Since the start of 2017, the brand has seen a significant decline in visits compared to the baseline for the period. The opportunity to simultaneously boost sales and drive visits to locations is a powerful combination that could help revitalize the brand.
Could the combination of innovation and wider off-price retail growth lead to a resurgence? Check in to Placer.ai to find out.