Almost 33 years after it first stepped into online retail, Apple will launch its online store in India on September 23 with its “full suite” of products and direct customer support. It will also bring in unique experiences like product customisations, packaging and counselling sessions. Last year, Apple had announced that its first offline store will come at the Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai.
“We are opening the Apple Store online with a full suite of Apple products. In fact, we’ll have our brand new products that we just announced earlier this week, available on the store. And one of the things that we are really excited about is the personalised support that we are going to have available,” Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s senior vice-president of Retail + People told indianexpress.com.
Apple has tied up with Blue Dart for logistics and is promising free delivery within 24 to 72 hours from date of purchase depending on the remoteness of the location. The deliveries will cover about 13,000 PIN codes across the country to start with, but the exact number could be impacted by local lockdowns because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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! 🇮🇳https://t.co/UjR31jzEaY
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) September 18, 2020
O’Brien said customers in India are “going to feel really well-served by our ability to deliver products in a really seamless way and, especially during COVID, in a non-contact way.” She reminded that Apple has been “working in India for quite some time with our network of reseller partners” and “so we really have a good understanding of doing business in India and really enjoy it.”
Apple’s online retail experience is as unique as its famed offline stories and involves handholding the customer right from deciding the product to buy to setting it up and running. In India, Apple will offer online support in English and phone support in Hindi and English. Once a product has been purchased, customers will also be able to book a free 30-minute counselling session with local Apple experts to get all their queries answered.
Customisation is another aspect that Apple will bring to the Indian market too. The online store will offer customers the option to order a Mac with the exact configuration they want. And just ahead of the festival season, Indian customers will be able to get messages engraved in English on iPad and Apple Pencil. On AirPods, they will be able to get emojis or text engraved in English, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, and Telugu.
While the pricing will be the same on the Apple store, all financing and EMI options will be available, along with a trade-in programme within the online store. However, given the pandemic, cash on delivery won’t be an option initially. All orders will be delivered contactless.
Apple’s special student pricing will also be available in India for Mac and iPad along with discounts on accessories and Apple Care+, the extended warranty programme with two years of technical support and accidental damage cover. From October, Today at Apple sessions, where expert teach how to better use its products for creative purposes, will also be available online for all Indian users.
Interestingly, Apple is going to promote the online store for a few days before the actual launch, something it has not done in other markets before.
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