This company needs no introduction, but we’ll try to do Apple justice. Apple is the first public company in history to surpass a $1 trillion valuation…ever. Yep, you read that right, the tech giant is the most valuable publicly-traded company in the history of the world. For reference, that means Apple is valued higher than the GDP of 183 of the world’s 199 countries, including Sweden, Argentina and Turkey. To help you understand this better, in Q4 of 2018, Apple sold 849,000 iPhones a day, or 35,000 iPhones an hour, or 590 every minute. And that’s just iPhones. Bottom line, there’s a lot we can learn from Apple, so let’s dive into what made them the epitome of business success, shall we?
Never Drop Prices Based On Competition
Apple has outright refused to partake in price wars with other companies. In 2018, Samsung released its Galaxy S10+, purposefully setting the retail price at $999.99, but that didn’t phase Apple. Instead, Apple’s iPhone broke the thousand dollar barrier at a cool $1099.99. What Apple knows is that competing on price will only hurt their business in the long run, and they are very much in the long game. When you compete on price, you are essentially partaking in a race to the bottom, resulting in less than spectacular revenue projections. A lack of understanding value added is what makes young, eager and naive interns work for free, and why you can find graphic design services on Fiverr for $5 per project. It’s the disparity between tee shirt quality from manufacturers in China vs. manufacturers in America — you can always tell the difference and Apple knows it.
It Just Works
Apple understands the value in their hardware, software and services. With Apple you very much get what you pay for. Apple’s value proposition is tucked away nicely in its marketing: “It just works”. Apple products are well-crafted and the light operating system (as opposed to the Windows platform) makes it easier to patch and run smoothly. They’ve put safeguards against poor experiences surrounding their products as well. If you have an issue with an Apple product, their 1 year warranty covers almost all hardware issues so long as the damage is not your fault. Strategically placed Apple Stores make fixing their products relatively headache-free as well. Combining quality products, beautiful design and impeccable service is one of the many reasons why Apple is worth $1 trillion. Your in-store Optical Retail experience should be seamless from the moment a customer enters your doors. Handing off patients from reception to assistants to Optometrists finally to Opticians is vital — don’t let your customers wander off or leave your store feeling lost and confused.
A Learning Retail Store Experience
Often times customers, and in our case patients, don’t know what they need. Customers want to know why their purchase adds value to their life, and they definitely don’t want to feel like they have overpaid or been cheated. When customers enter your Optical Retail Store, your goal needs to be to convince your customer that paying for your products and services has made their lives better in some way. If you have never used a Mac before, enter an Apple Store and you’ll walk out understanding how a Mac integrates well with your lifestyle as well as the basics of how they work. That’s because Apple employees are trained to hone-in on the specific problems the customer hopes to resolve from a technological standpoint. These employees are taught how to translate customer concerns into solutions Apple products and services can provide. Your Optical Store employees should be able to answer even the most difficult questions, but most of all they should be able to bridge the gap between your products and services and the problems your customers are facing.
Aside from thoroughly training their employees, Apple provides one-on-one and group classes on all of their products so their customers never feel confused about the goods they’ve spent a pretty penny on. This helps curb buyer’s remorse, which if left unhandled can turn into resentful customers, and resentful customers lead to a lack customer retention — something your Optical Store relies on. Learn more about Customer Retention here. Similarly, take the opportunity to teach your customers about how various lenses, protective gear, accessories and glasses styles are beneficial and worth the cost. Every time a customer enters your store is a teachable moment that will help build trust in your brand and your employees.
Apple has their brand, business strategy and retail experience down to a science. We don’t expect every Optical Retailer to do thousands of hours in market research like Apple has done; however, hopefully you will re-evaluate your worth, retail experience, services and products in a manner that benefits your business as well as your bottom line. As you can imagine, this is just a small part of what makes Apple one of the most valuable companies on Earth. Stay tuned for Part 2 of What Your Optical Store Can Learn From: Apple in 2020!