You usually walk into the Apple store determined to fix one little problem, and leave realizing you had a dozen other things that needed fixing, new software, new gadgets and, oh yeah, it came to $400. There’s a reason for that. Apple sets up its stores in a particular way designed to make you spend more money. BusinessInsider.com recently released a video showing how it’s done. We’re breaking that video down, further analyzing how the layout affects your psyche to show why you spend too much money at the Apple store.
There’s the product display section in the front, so before you get even close to the people who can fix your old device, you see every nice, new, shiny one. Then in the middle is the “family zone,” which is where all the shiny displays from the front are opened up, and luring you to try them. The genius bar is way in the back, and you have to try pass up on many temptations on your way there.
You never feel cramped in an Apple store because spaces are kept very open, décor is minimal and you can walk around easily. Translation: you never want to rush out because the crowd is driving you crazy. And you can usually zip quickly over to a device you’re curious about without being deterred by a cluster of people.
You could check your email or Facebook on your phone, but a big, beautiful desktop computer or laptop is right there and it’s allowing you access to Internet. So you bite the bait and before you know it, you’ve been on the computer for 20 minutes. And you’re feeling comfy with that thing now.
Of course all the cool software is installed—the software you’ve been wanting to try but haven’t been willing to shell out money on. You don’t even have to go through the installation process to do a free trial period. It’s just there, waiting for you.
The screens are all leaning back at about a 70 degree angle, so you can see all the little software and app icons bright and clear. The laptop is inviting you to try it out. Does this feel like hypnosis?
The stage lighting, almost like the lights you see backlighting pieces of art in a gallery, make each item look special and magical.
Every employee holds a small device on which they can ring up your credit card right where you are, so it almost doesn’t feel real when you buy something. That innocent-looking device didn’t really just take $500 from you, did it? Plus, you don’t have to stand in line waiting to get to a register where you could change your mind about the purchase.
Buying something new often comes with a fun, interactive training session with an employee. (And from personal experience, they’ll usually answer some questions about your other devices at home that you’d otherwise have to make an appointment at the genius bar to get answered.)
Kids’ items are hung at kids’-eye level, and are usually packaged in bright colors.
The genius bar is very welcoming. The bar doesn’t connect to the walls on either end, so it feels like you could walk right around and stand on the genius side. It doesn’t feel like you’re being sold something — more like you’re being helped with something. This puts your guard down. This set up makes you feel like the geniuses genuinely care about your best interest — anything they try to sell you must be something you need, right?