With the release of the Apple Watch and Apple Pay, the media and retail ‘experts’ are filling the Internet with declarations that wearable technology will be the next big thing for retail and warnings those that don’t adopt will fail.
We think that’s frivolous. That kind of scaremongering only evokes panic, resulting in poor mobile strategies.
The new Apple Watch and with it, Apple Pay, is innovation wrapped up like tangible, actionable retail progress. It is the halfway mark disguised as the finish line. Apple packages the announcement this way in order to, of course, sell more product.
Facts about ApplePay:
- It works in-store
- It works in-app
- It does not work in-browser or mobile web
Let’s dig deeper into these ‘features’.
Apple Pay works in-store
Right, so does a card. A card that doesn’t run out of battery and is just as easy to pull out of a wallet. NFC technology is almost certainly not going away, but predicting the death of credit cards as we know them within the next few years is not a thoughtful point of view.
Apple Pay works in-app
Currently, only 18% of IRUK500 retailers have a transactional app. This means that the vast majority of retailers favour the mobile web. A majority of consumers in the UK and the US have a serious case of app apathy.
Apple Pay *does not* work in-browser
This is where the interesting stuff is. Apple have created an ecosystem of technology. What then is the roadmap for iOS and OSX? If Apple can enable fast in-browser payments, that will enable mobile commerce growth more rapid than we’ve ever seen. We’d venture to say that the growth will be so strong, it’ll make transactional apps obsolete.
What should you do?
You don’t need an app, let alone an app for the Apple Watch. Since the Apple Watch displays the same alerts as an iPhone, adding text alerts to your delivery communications may be just enough to put a smile on Apple Watch owners’ faces. Or, it will just get in the way of telling them the time.
Whatever happens, we advise retailers not to have a knee-jerk reaction to any of these announcements and remember to get the basics right. Ever-evolving technology will always influence consumer behaviour. But being the first retailer to launch an Apple Watch app won’t automatically make you do it best. Yes, we’re talking about you, ASOS.