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Walmart and American retailers bank on the Apple Watch

10
jul
2015
Nicolas DIACONO
Technological Trends Senior Analyst
2 minutes
Walmart has just launched its application for Apple Watch that makes it an extension of its mobile app and makes it easier to use in store.

The facts

Walmart has launched this application to cash in on the “success” of the Apple watch, nearly 3 million of which have been sold since it came out in April, even though sales have significantly tailed off since June. Walmart had to launch this application in order to maintain its image as an innovative retailer.

The application is still very basic however; it lets shoppers access their shopping list without needing to take their mobile out of their pocket or bag, which also makes it easier to use when pushing a trolley. The application will also suggest recipes based on the shopping list.

It is all still very minimalist for the time being, because as Walmart says this is only a test aimed at confirming that connected objects are indeed part of the everyday life of the American giant’s customers.

Interpretation

Walmart is not the only retailer to have jumped on the Apple Watch bandwagon. Target has done so too, using it to offer an indoor positioning service for products on the consumer’s shopping list.

“Wearables”, and more particularly connected watches, potentially offer a genuine extension of the experience with the retail chain by providing easier access to the content, which must be simple and user-friendly: on average a user looks at his connected watch for 3 seconds against 30 seconds for a smartphone! (source Adweek).

Another lesson is that this device is not perceived as being an efficient tool for looking up information or viewing content. On the other hand, the Apple Watch facilitates access to notifications, which indeed matches the concept of “micro mobile moment” (source MCD Partners).

On the other hand, the best value in use of connected watches could be payments. The Apple Watch paired with Apple Pay could extend the use of contactless mobile payments, whereas they are predicted to make up only 4% of in-store payments in the USA by 2018.
Then consumers would no longer need to take out their mobiles and would find the act of payment a smoother experience.
The connected watch may well be what will finally help the contactless world to take off!

Video

8_Walmart

Nicolas DIACONO
Technological Trends Senior Analyst
As an expert in emerging technologies, Nicolas travels to innovation shows around the world to spot and analyse the new trends.
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