- Financing and trade-in programmes, special student pricing on offer
- Online specialist to advice and guide in English and Hindi
- To offer no contact delivery
Cupertino giant Apple is finally bringing its online store to the Indian market. Launching in India on September 23, the store will be offering Apple's full range of products and support directly to customers across the country for the first time. Apple Store online will offer a range of affordability options with financing options and trade-in programmes. The company even intends to offer special students pricing for a Mac or iPad, and discounts on accessories and AppleCare+. Given the pandemic, Apple says that orders that do not require a signature will be left at the customer's door, and those that do will need only a verbal confirmation from a safe distance instead of a written signature.
"We know how important it is for our customers to stay in touch with those they love and the world around them. We can't wait to connect with our customers and expand support in India with the Apple Store online on September 23!," tweeted Apple CEO Tim Cook
"While for Indians, Apple has always been an aspirational brand of choice, Apple's relationship with India is only getting more intimate and potentially more stronger now. The Apple Online Store is just the first in a series of steps where Apple will start offering consumers a full suite of unique consumer experiences, including the ability to customise Apple products. In doing so, it would be able to leverage its brand strengths to the maximum," says Prabhu Ram, Head - Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CMR.
Online Apple Specialists will be available to help with anything from custom-configuring any Mac to setting up new devices. Customers will get advice, receive guidance, and learn about new products directly from Apple, both in English and Hindi. In October, Apple plans to host free online Today at Apple sessions led by local Creative Pros, focused on photography and music. Just in time for the festive season, signature gift wrap and personalised engraving will be available for select products. Engraving of emoji or text in English, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, and Telugu will be available for AirPods, and English engraving will be available for iPad and Apple Pencil.
"We're proud to be expanding in India and want to do all we can to support our customers and their communities," says Deirdre O'Brien, Apple's senior vice president of Retail + People. "We know our users are relying on technology to stay connected, engage in learning, and tap into their creativity, and by bringing the Apple Store online to India, we are offering our customers the very best of Apple at this important time."
Apple says that this new online store will provide customers with the same premium experience found in Apple Store locations around the world, delivered by online team members who are ready to offer their expertise.
"We think this should work well for Apple for three reasons. Online sales for Apple were already strong in India. For instance, last year almost 30 per cent of their sales were through online channels (Flipkart and Amazon), which has increased to over 40 per cent in H1 2020. So it makes sense to push online. With the launch of its online store, Apple can control the pricing and discounts better. Apple's target group is familiar with online shopping and it will be some time before Apple stores arrive here, so online can be a good strategy. However, by channel splits, volumes will still remain strong in offline and online will just bring in additional sales," says, Tarun Pathak, Associate Director, Counterpoint Research.
Apple has been operational in the country for over 20 years and has been selling products through authorised sellers in offline and online retail. India being a key important market, Apple is expanding its operations in India. Just recently, the company started assembling the iPhone 11 and the new iPhone SE in India. It also plans to open its offline store at the Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai.