Apple Watch – ignore it at your peril

iwatch

There are already numerous smartwatch and other wearables in the market, and there have been for some time. However, Apple Watch is due to launch with quite a splash in this quarter or the next (date tbc).

It is important to remember that iPod was not the first MP3 player in the market. In fact, Apple’s strategy has typically been to perfect existing products, rather than create things that are entirely new. Smartwatch sales haven’t been amazing so far, but we predict that the Apple Watch is going to change that. Time and time again, Apple has proven their customer base is massive and very, very loyal. It seems highly likely they will sell millions the in the first few days of the launch.

If you have an existing iOS app, you don’t need to think of Apple Watch as building a whole new app. Apple Watch has been designed to be an extension of the iPhone, and allows developers to leverage their existing app code to support the wearable device. For example, the user may receive a notification on their Apple Watch, tap a button and then complete the task on their iPhone.

There will be significant first-mover benefits to those that can provide a great experience on Apple Watch to their customers, as well the ancillary advantage of leveraging what is likely to be significant media interest surrounding the launch.

An important part of this will be getting your execution of notifications right. Notifications should be useful, timely and highly configurable. This can quickly go from being a feature to an annoyance for some users especially if I now get notifications on my Watch, iPhone, iPad and MacBook Air. Therefore it is critical that total experience across multiple devices is well thought out and planned right from the outset.

Too often we see push notifications given little attention until late in the project, or after the app is in market. We believe we will see much greater use of eCRM and marketing automation platforms this year, to better segment and personalise content for notifications.

How can your iOS app provide even more value to users, while their iPhone is still in their pocket? How can we improve the experience for users, by removing the ‘cost’ (in terms of time and effort) of retrieving and unlocking their iPhones? How can we make better use of data to provide timely, relevant messaging to customers across multiple channels?