We’re always interested to see new retail technology – or technology being used for retail – here at Barber and so this week we were interested to see that online retailer ASOS have announced plans to be one of the first businesses to launch a retail app for the new Apple Watch, which launches later this month.
ASOS chief executive Nick Robertson confirmed the plans, saying that the app will be used to send alerts regarding products and customer deliveries.
The app could send notifications to the watch when a customer’s ASOS order is five minutes away from being delivered – enabling them to ensure they are available to receive it. It might also display other product recommendations, although Robertson remained vague regarding the exact functions of the app.
The new Apple Watch will be on sale in the UK on April 24 and ASOS have yet to confirm the release of its app, which is still in development, but Robertson has suggested that it is likely to be within six weeks of the initial product launch.
As market trends suggest that more and more consumers are using ‘phablet devices’ – defined as a smart device which is smaller than a tablet (at around 6 inches) but can still used as a mobile phone – to browse and make their purchases, ASOS have confirmed that they will continue investing in mobile technology for customers – although Robertson admits he previously underestimated the popularity of this retail channel:
“I didn’t believe customers would want to shop 75,000 products on a mobile, but they are and in increasing number.”
With the launch of the Apple Watch, Robinson anticipates that more people will be using ‘phablets’, linked to the smaller device and that there will be different functions for different devices, with simplicity as the key.
“I like that we can have different apps for different functions. We have about two or three but some will come and some will go.
“There is lots of technology being developed that might not either be a threat or opportunity to us, but we need to listen to what is going on.”