It's been about six years since Apple had a dedicated area for shopping on its website. Since 2015 the store pages have been accessible via individual products. Now Apple's Online Store is back!
On 3 August 2021, alongside new keyboards with Touch ID, a new Magic Mouse and new Magic Trackpad, and new graphics card options for the Mac Pro, Apple reintroduced its store front on its website.
The change meant that the well-known sign "Be Back Soon" showed on Apple.com yesterday evening, before the site returned with a new tab: Store, which can be found on the left of the navigation.
This new layout is reminiscent of the Apple website navigation from around 1997 to 2015. As per this image from 2015.
You could say that the store is back online after being "down" for six long years.
Over the past six years Apple has built the shopping function into each of the respective product pages for Mac, iPad, iPhone and more, under buttons with the inscription "Buy". This hasn't changed: you can still navigate to the store in the same way. The new Store tab just gives shoppers a more direct link to the Apple store front.
The new store front allows Apple to better publicise products to impulse buyers, giving them more opportunity to browse the catalogue - including accessories.
Previously Apple's website wasn't set up for impulse purchases: shoppers had to already in the mind to buy a product to be visiting the page in the first place.
This change should make shopping at Apple a better and simpler experience. The store's home page is filled with links to Apple's product family as well as a series of cards that display the latest products with clever slogans like "Stick, out." (For MagSafe), "Back to University" for the education pricing and AirPods deal (details here: What is Apple's Back to School deal).
The design seems quite busy, with its numerous map rows and clickable elements, but it encourages you to browse just like the iOS Apple Store app does.
This should mean it is possible that Apple will not have to shut down the whole website for hours every time a new product is added - a strange peculiarity that Apple fans love and frustrates anyone who wants to buy a product during shutdown times.
On the other hand, the exclamation sounds "The Apple Store is down!" like music in the ears of the fans, almost like the bell that introduces the gift on Christmas Eve.
Adapted from a Macwelt article.