Retale Apple Watch app marks start of new era in mobile commerce
Retale, a mobile platform that replicates print circulars, said a Retale Apple Watch app will make its debut in April, advancing mobile’s ability to help retailers more easily connect with customers and customers access more deals.
The app’s launch coincides with the long-awaited rollout of the Apple smartwatch, which Apple has said would occur in April. The announcement points to the game-changing impact smaller-screen smartwatches will have on mobile marketing, accelerated by the long-awaited rollout of Apple’s watch.
“Our Retale app for Apple Watch empowers and enables consumers whenever and wherever they want to shop in-store,” said Christian Gaiser, Retale’s CEO. “By making every bit of information you might need to make a purchase accessible on your wrist, from discounts to store location, we’re offering a true mobile shopping companion that streamlines every aspect of brick-and-mortar buying.
“This is huge, given how overwhelming the experience can be,” he said.
The names of the retail partners involved in the app were not disclosed.
“If you were to open the app, you’ll see some of the biggest retail brands in the U.S.,” Mr. Gaiser said. “It’s also important to point out that every retailer we work with is an official customer, meaning we get the latest updated circulars that are most relevant for shoppers direct from the source.”
Retale iOS app.
The watch is an opportunity to drive greater user engagement with the app, and as a result, drive interactions in front of or within the store of a retailer.
“When compared to a smartphone app experience, a wrist-based device is inherently easier to engage with, creating a more frictionless opportunity for us to ping relevant circulars to users and for them to then redeem those circulars in-store,” Mr. Gaiser said.
“Anytime you eliminate steps within the in-store redemption process – like pulling a phone out of your pocket, unlocking it, opening an app, and the like – you can generate more opportunities to engage and deeper interactions.
“This is the real benefit for our retail partners and we believe it ushers in a new opportunity to support brick-and-mortar buying.”
Retale’s Apple Watch app builds upon the intuitive location-based features users have become accustomed to in using Retale on iOS.
For existing users on iPad or iPhone, the experience is nearly identical – just with a streamlined interface and the core location-based features taking center stage.
Retailer ads are also visible on the watch, serving as an extension of Retale’s iPhone and iPad apps. The feature allows users to sync preferences, favorites, lists and actions across devices.
Retale provides more than three million mobile shoppers with access to in-store deals and promotions from more than 130 major retailers through the Retale Web site and mobile app.
The location-based input makes it possible for shoppers to find the best deal at a store nearby.
“We will continue to see brands build and test applications for the Apple Watch,” said Dirk Rients, founder/CEO of Mobile Ventures. “Like any application, the app needs to provide some type of value, otherwise people will quickly delete it.”
While smartwatches are expected to give mobile payments a much-needed boost, research suggests that consumers are not exactly clamoring to pay for purchases using one of these devices.
Because using a smartwatch at the checkout is easier than having to pull a smartphone out of a pocket, some industry watchers expect consumers will be quicker to embrace smartwatch payments than smartphone payments, which have been slow to catch on. However, a recent report from GfK found that only 35 percent of respondents to a recent survey that was conducted in five countries are interested in smartwatch payments.
The full feature breakdown for the Retale Apple Watch app will be disclosed at launch.
Leveraging location to drive sales.
“This is just the beginning,” Mr. Gaiser said. “We will soon extend the use cases of our Apple Watch App, with a lot of exciting features down the road, serving as the shopper’s favorite companion.”
Michael Barris is staff reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York