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River Island launches ‘app experience for wearables’

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Fashion retailer River Island , in partnership with NN4M, has launched what it dubs “app experience for the Apple Watch and Android Wear”, marking it out as one of the first mainstream retailers to design for wearables.

Designed specifically for wrist-worn convenience, the apps include a number of features that add to River Island’s personalised and tailored mobile experience and caters to their tech loving and trendy audience.

It also taps into the boom in clothing sales online and on mobile as reported this week by the IMRG and Cap Gemini .

River Island’s customers can view customised feeds of “new-in” items, save and view items in their wish list and add them to their bag where they can then move seamlessly across to mobile to purchase.

The apps also allows customers to check stock availability, offers directions to nearby stores and lists their opening times, enabling them to take advantage of the easy accessibility of both device types.

“We are delighted to be one of the few retailers leading the way in the wearables market. River Island is always interested in finding new and exciting ways to bring our shopping experience into the lives of our customer,” said Helen Colclough, Ecommerce Development Manager, River Island.

“The Apple Watch and Android Wear apps will provide our customers with another channel to shop with us conveniently.”

Apps for wearables have been a long time coming and are one of the reasons that sales of Apple Watches are lower than predicted. A report from Argus Insights in April showed that consumers are much happier with their wearable devices than the apps they use to interpret the data they collect and that shoppers are crying out for better apps for wearables.

A separate study by Juniper Research also suggests that the real driver for wearables in retail will be payments. It found that the global value of mobile and wearable contactless payments is expected to reach $95 billion annually by 2018, up from less than $35 billion last year.

River Island’s foray in to wearable apps will help boost the idea among consumers that wearables have a useful role to play in their lives.

River Island’s iPhone, iPad and Android apps have also been updated to expand their international reach. The apps now include more payment options such as Giro Pay for Germany and Ideal for the Netherlands, along with more courier service options.

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