The Apple Watch
If you are a human being, you have heard of Apple. And if you are even remotely connected to reality, you know that it is not just a fruit (as if getting us kicked out of the Garden of Eden would ever merit it being accepted as just a fruit) but also one of the major tech brands of our time. Apple keeps coming out with ridiculous gadgets that NO ONE will use (according to ‘experts’), and then in a year or two they’ve either created or redesigned a booming market. And once again, they’ve come up with a gadget that’s being disparaged as ‘doomed to fail’ (realistic translation: ‘about to take over the universe’). The Apple Watch.
What it’s All About
Released earlier this year, Apple is touting the gadget as their “most personal device yet”. It straps onto your wrist and instead of getting your mobile phone out every time you need to check the time, you can just look at the Apple Watch. Nice, right? But that’s not all! It’s also got a couple of built-in sensors that measure your body’s activity, such as heart rate and steps taken. If you’re feeling very romantic, or angry I suppose, you can send a copy of your heartbeat to another Apple Watch user, and they’ll feel your beat against their wrist. Sweet. Or creepy. By setting up Apple Pay, the device can be used for fly-by payment, and with the help of your iPhone it facilitates navigation, lets you make and take phone calls, send and receive SMSs, chat with Siri, and send dirty doodles to your friends. Now when you see someone wandering along the street speaking to their wrist, you won’t automatically know they’re a Russian spy. They could be one of Apple’s trendy early adopters.
How it’s Working
Aside from providing punctual shoppers, the Apple Watch has the potential to empower retailers with shopping apps designed specifically for use on the device. Though a few mobile apps can be used directly on the Apple Watch, the cross-over is neither seamless nor particularly effective, and so those with an ear to the ground (What’s that, you say? Doomed to fail, i.e. taking over the universe?) have engaged top iOS app development companies to design their own Apple Watch apps which complement their mobile apps.
Target’s Apple Watch app lets their shoppers build shopping lists and then directs them to their items once in-store, all via the Apple Watch. Users can decide quantity of items they’re adding, and then check items off their list as they pick them up – is there anything more satisfying? When an item on the list is nearby, a reminder pops up, and directions are provided to the item. The app also presents some basic store info such as opening times and tells users when deals are available on items they’ve listed.
This app delivers scannable movie tickets to the Apple Watch in bar code format. The ticketing app provides show times, guarantees tickets, and lets users watch trailers on their mobile devices, and then allows them to bypass ticket lines with one flick of the wrist.
Kohl’s Apple Watch app functions similarly to its mobile app, allowing customers to track their savings offers. These offers can be scanned from Apple Watch at checkout
The app is designed to provide customers with guidance to the exact item they are searching for. After browsing and bookmarking items online, the app quickly identifies and directs in-store shoppers to the product destination. With navigation capabilities, the app can find out-of-stock items at any of the four closest JCPenney stores within the user’s location, ensuring that customers never find themselves without the items they want - Source
What’s it to You?
Look, if you don’t know the importance of pandering to the iCrowd, I’m not sure I can help you. I know, you’re rolling your eyes, but if they went out and bought an Apple Watch they’re definitely on the consumer train, and best you provide a station. A lot of the tools retailers can access with the Apple Watch are already available via mobile applications, but a killer mobile app is no reason to rest on your laurels. Let me highlight a couple of ideas:
- Discounts & coupons: right to their wrist. Couldn’t be easier. Make sure your ten-minute-only deal is received in time.
- Shopping lists: I know you can type these up on your phone, but it’s difficult holding a mobile phone in one hand and your basket in the other. I’m constantly throwing mine around stores, and every time I drop a product one of the sales people frowns threateningly at me. It’s awkward. So go on, make it a little easier.
- Heartbeat tracker: every time Steve walks past the radio controlled helicopters, his heart rate increases… is he scared of flying? Or is his inner-child begging to play? Perhaps a coupon sent to his Apple Watch would be the sign he needs.
- Navigation: Apple Watch can navigate your shoppers through your store with little taps to their wrists. So, one, they’ll find what they want. And two, you won’t have a store full of Nav Voices providing irritating, if genteel, vocal directions. Turn left, now…
- Advertising: lunch time? Well, isn’t that a convenient time to pop up a picture of something mouthwatering onto the back of everyone’s hand?
- Goals: think of the benefits to your loyalty program with trackable spend goals flashing up on your customer’s Apple Watches. 1,000 steps in-store - well, how about a discount? 10th visit in a month – could we offer you a free latte? Only $50 more dollars and you’re gold level!
- Easy payment: Apple Pay makes paying as easy as swiping your wrist past a scanner. A nice way to put pesky budgeting thoughts out of one’s mind.
- Validation: those with Apple Watches are going to predominantly use stores that make their new gadget shine. They just are.
The sky’s the limit. Creating your own partnership with Apple’s products is a recipe for success, so if you like money, perhaps now’s the time to spend a little at a mobile development agency and design you own spectacular iCrowd pleaser.