Have you been glancing at your wrist since last Friday and feeling that it just doesn’t look right? That it could look better? That it could somehow make your life so much richer? Are you feeling that, somehow, your wrist could be part of a revolution?
It seems that you are not alone if you do: Apple also seems to think that you can use your wrist to usher in a payments and retailing revolution – all you have to do is have the money (and the time to wait) for one of its lovely watches.
As you may know, that watch went on sale last Friday – although you may have to wait until at least June to get one even if you order it today – and with it came a flurry of views and opinions as to how it is going to revolutionise the tech space, the mobile space, the watch industry, the way we pay and how retail works. Not bad for one little device.
Many retailers have already leapt to create watch compatible apps that make use of the fact that the watch is really just a screen extension of your phone. Other brands, such as Yell, have leveraged the watches ability to link to the phones Siri speech recognition/artificial (un)intelligence to let consumers search for businesses by speaking to their watch.
It is safe to say that there are no shortage of ideas or initiatives to make use of the watch.
And that is to be lauded. However, is it really a game changer? Version one probably isn’t, but it has set in motion the inescapably move towards wearables and other ‘new’ takes on what it means to be mobile. As more people start to get these devices, then more retailers and brands will be forced to design for them.
If Apple Pay and the watch take off then it will also be a driver for NFC and will open the door for mainstream mobile payments in store.
It will also become the message centre of choice and so has the potential to disrupt the digital marketing world too.
In short it could be a game changer.
But what if no one really wants one? Research by Gfk suggests that, while interest in the watch is high at 49% of people, only 12% have any real intention to buy one. Is that 12% going to be enough to ferment revolution? Well quite possibly. The iPhone had a similarly ‘low’ penetration early on and look what that did to the mobile phone industry.
So will you, as retailers, be beset with demands to create apps and services for the watch? Well, your CEO might suggest it, but you need to look at how it fits in with your overall mobile strategy and what benefits it can actually bring at this stage. It won’t be a killer app for all, but it will be for some. Either way, the clock is ticking.