Apple’s retail operations were mocked by everyone on the planet when the first Apple Store was opened. But now that the Apple Store is the most profitable retail store in the world, everyone wants to copy what Apple’s doing.
Thanks to some inspiration from the Apple Store, BMW has decided that starting in 2014 they will require all dealers to hire young tech-savvy employees to handle questions from customers about the vehicles on the showroom floor. They’ll even be equipped with iPads and be called Geniuses.
The new program is called “BMW Genius Everywhere” and BMW wants it to reach a critical mass before the roll out of their i3 electric car that will land in U.S. dealerships in early 2014. Rather than sitting at an actual bar like the Apple Store, BMW’s geniuses will be roaming the showroom floor with their iPads in hands and inform shoppers on vehicles and features.
Unlike salesmen, the BMW Geniuses won’t be paid a commission per sale, but will work on a salary. BMW hopes the Genius job will appeal to young tech-savvy college aged students who want to work flexible hours.
The program has already launched in Europe where it’s received tremendous success and acclaim from dealers as well as customers. BMW’s not the only car manufacturer to take the genius approach though. Lexus has adopted a similar program, and so has General Motors.
BMW’s Genius experience gives customers a large amount of video and audio information to help them decide on a purchase, which should make it easier for dorks like me who know nothing about cars. Now, if I could only afford a BMW…