With “618” coming, what’s the reason for Apple’s official website not to cut prices?

Compared with the original price of 9,999 yuan on the official website, Apple’s Tmall-branded iPhone 15 Pro Max only costs 7,949 yuan when participating in Tmall 618. I say it’s really good.

But why are the prices on the official website so unbeatable?

▲ Left: Apple official website price; Right: Tmall flagship store price

Behind the scenes, some of the service experiences on Apple’s official website are difficult to replicate on any other e-commerce platform.

Not long ago, we were fortunate enough to have an in-depth conversation with Karen Rasmussen, Apple’s vice president of global online retail business, to hear Apple’s special thoughts on online sales.

Official website, not just official mall

When you open Apple's official website, apart from the neat layout and beautiful pictures, it seems to be no different from other brands.

But as you browse further, you will find that this website seems different.

▲Apple’s Chinese official website

Unlike many brands that turn their official websites into online malls, the products are dazzling and the prices are clear at a glance. The process from the home page to the shopping cart is the same as that of online shopping platforms.

Apple takes a different approach.

At the top of the homepage, you can find different products by category, computers, tablets, mobile phones, watches, headphones, and then a series of direct links.

This is not just a product display counter, but a one-stop shop for product knowledge, purchase decisions, comprehensive support, and even in-depth experience of Apple’s service system (including making reservations for Genius Bar services or participating in Today at Apple courses). portal.

▲The top categories of Apple’s official website

In my opinion, it is like a virtual physical store, within reach, no matter where you are.

Karen also agrees with this statement, "Whether you are sitting at home, strolling through a physical store, or taking a moment of leisure while traveling, you can always learn more about your favorite products and enjoy instant personalized service."

Apple’s minimalism in product presentation is also impressive.

It only takes a few pages to outline the essence of each product: core highlights, detailed design, technical specifications, everything is well organized.

If you want to learn more about a certain part of it, such as the dual-layer tandem OLED technology of the new iPad Pro, tap the blue plus sign at the bottom of the page to expand it.

This design allows complex technology to be presented in the most concise way.

▲ One page summarizes the display part, click the blue plus button to learn more

Although it has many profound and complex technologies, Apple is committed to explaining complex technologies in simple language, allowing users to intuitively perceive the life changes brought by products, rather than just listing cold data.

This is a more user-friendly approach, and the actual functions ultimately presented by complex technology are what are more valuable to each user.

In Karen's words, "We hope customers can understand what our products can help them do in their daily lives."

When it comes to purchasing the product, you first select the size and color, then the capacity configuration. The step-by-step guided selection makes it feel like you are building the most suitable device for yourself. Each step has detailed graphics, text and even video guides.

If it is really difficult to choose, you can also click on the avatar in the lower right corner to directly chat with the Specialist online, and they will take you through the personalized purchase process to ensure that the product meets your needs.

Is this experience the same as going to an offline physical store?

▲ For the choice of display glass, click the plus sign below the left image to learn more about the differences between the two types of glass.

Deep collaboration between online and offline

In addition to regular express delivery, Apple has also launched three-hour express delivery and pickup services in cities with Apple Stores. The former is delivered by store employees in the same city, and the latter is carried out by customers to pick up goods offline after placing orders online.

I'm curious, in China where delivery services are so convenient, wouldn't it be nice to have it delivered directly to your home?

Karen’s answer opened up new ideas for me——

Some customers like to pick up their products on the way home from get off work. After arriving at the store, our experts not only assist them in unboxing, but also guide product settings and even provide in-depth tutorials on new features.

It turns out that the point of "picking up the goods in the store" is not "picking up the goods", but "going to the store".

▲Received an email from Apple after purchasing a new device

Apple's online and offline collaboration is not limited to the purchase stage. After-sales service also reflects this concept.

After purchasing a new device, users will receive an exclusive email from Apple, inviting them to make an appointment with a Specialist expert. Whether it is face-to-face, online chat or telephone consultation, they can receive detailed guidance on how to use the device.

As Karen emphasized, "We not only sell products, but also use multiple channels to ensure that users can make full use of these products and make them a tool to improve the quality of life."

▲Today at Apple special course at Apple’s Jing’an retail store

This kind of "consumer education" happens every day.

In addition to product coaching, Apple also provides a wealth of content in the Today at Apple course program to help various users learn about the Apple products they have in their hands, or even those they have not yet purchased.

This series of measures not only allows users to maximize the effectiveness of the product and create more personal value, but also virtually enhances users' loyalty to the brand, laying the foundation for the shaping and improvement of the brand image.

Apple is using a deeply integrated online and offline strategy to redefine the standards of modern consumer experience.

Globally consistent standardization is important, but localization makes sense too

I mentioned Tmall’s big sale at the beginning. Are you worried that Tmall’s sales are so cheap and there is no guarantee?

In fact, the Tmall Apple Store official flagship store is directly managed and operated by Apple and is an official channel. Like Apple's official website and offline Apple Stores, it enjoys the same standards of distribution priority and after-sales service system.

It is particularly worth mentioning that products purchased at Tmall flagship store, Apple’s official website and offline Apple Stores have the right to return or exchange without reason within 7 days after activation, which is not available on other e-commerce platforms (such as JD.com) The service further highlights the reliability of official channels.

▲ Tips on after-sales service when purchasing iPhone on JD.com

It’s no wonder that some Apple fans call the Tmall flagship store the “second official website.”

The cooperation between Apple and Tmall began in 2014 and is now in its tenth year. Earlier this year, a newly designed store page was launched.

Even on Tmall, Apple's store is still a clean slate. You can't see product prices on the homepage, and there are only posters without pictures for promotions. Have you ever seen a store like this?

▲The homepage only has product names and categories, no prices and no promotional stickers.

Not only Tmall, in July last year, the official Apple Store online store officially joined the WeChat mini program.

This means that you no longer need to use an additional app or visit the official website. You can directly access Apple’s official page within WeChat. You can also easily share it with relatives and friends, making full use of WeChat’s characteristics as an important tool in daily life.

This is not only Apple’s attempt at localization in China, but also a bold attempt on social platforms.

▲ The selection process of the WeChat mini program is exactly the same as that of the official website

Karen said bluntly: "It can be said that WeChat has become a part of Chinese people's daily life. We are very happy to connect with Chinese consumers in this way. We are very satisfied with the current cooperation results."

Apple’s success on Tmall and WeChat platforms also makes Karen very satisfied, “We hope to provide a consistent experience for Apple users around the world. At the same time, we also know that we need to focus on localized services and provide them in a meaningful way. Serving local customers in China.”

Keeping pace with the retail revolution

Karen has worked in Apple's retail business for many years and was recently promoted to Apple's Vice President of Online Retail. Her years of experience and higher positions have allowed her to see changes in the retail industry.

She has witnessed and promoted how Apple uses online channels to break the boundaries of traditional retail, create a more intimate and in-depth communication space for customers, and also open up an efficient way for consumers to fully understand new products.

Every new product release is Karen’s happiest moment. “I’m also very happy to see customers excited. They want to know more about new products, so we also work hard to provide them with guidance throughout the entire process of purchase and after-sales service. , giving them full support every step of the way.”

▲The opening of the product details page of Apple Vision Pro

During the conversation, Karen proactively mentioned the launch of Vision Pro.

Faced with this product that can be called "future technology", how to accurately convey its innovative value to ordinary melon-eating people has become a challenge faced by Karen and her team.

They redesigned Vision Pro's product introduction page, produced a large number of product videos and interactive elements, and set up very conspicuous buttons to encourage users to make reservations for offline experiences (only in the United States).

▲The product details page of Apple Vision Pro uses a rotating method to fully explain the functions of each component.

"We hope to achieve seamless integration of online and offline," Karen said.

Apple is combining the convenience of the digital world with the in-person experience of physical retail in an unprecedented way.

The only standard is customer-centered

During the half-hour conversation with Karen, the thing she said most was "We put customer at the center of everything we do."

Indeed, Apple has very strict specifications and standards in all aspects. Whether it is the design of the page or the language of the service, it has been designed and arranged with almost obsessive-compulsive disorder. In the final analysis, it is all to provide customers with a more "Apple-style" experience.

Ensure that every visitor can deeply experience Apple's care for users and extreme pursuit of details the moment they visit the official website or physical store. This is not only the basis for maintaining existing customers, but also the secret to attracting more new customers. It is also the cornerstone of corporate image building and maintenance.

At the end of the conversation, Karen once again expressed her great importance to the Chinese market——

We will go all out to provide all-round support to Chinese consumers. Whether you are through the Apple Store app, official website, Tmall official flagship store, or WeChat mini program, we sincerely welcome you. Of course, we also sincerely invite you to visit offline stores and experience the charm of Apple. All our efforts revolve around one core – putting customer service first and helping you understand and enjoy our products more deeply through these diversified channels.

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