Following on from our recent blog about retailers looking to capitalise on the Apple Watch – with fashion retailer ASOS to be one of first brands to feature on the new smart device – this week, Marks and Spencer announced their intention to come on board the Apple Watch apps for retail bandwagon – by adapting their existing smartphone cookery app for the new wearable tech device.
Building on the success of their popular ‘Cook with M&S’ app – which was downloaded 150,000 times in it’s first three months – M&S have now released a pared down version of the app designed specifically for the Apple Watch. The app suggests recipes and creates a shopping list, which enables users to tick off groceries as they shop. It also times the food and lets the user know when it needs to be turned down or taken out of the oven.
Peter Wright, product developer for M&S Digital Labs, where the app was developed in-house, describes the motivation for the development:
“In the Digital Labs team, we always ask how tech can improve the customer experience, and specifically for the app, how can digital enhance the cooking process?
“While currently only in its infancy in terms of mainstream consumer use, over the next year the role of wearable tech in customers’ everyday lives is set to grow as developments like the Apple Watch come to market.
“The way our Digital Labs team works, by constantly iterating and getting product to market as quickly as possible, means we have the capabilities to stay one step ahead in reacting to trends and anticipating customer demand.”
Digital Labs have been listening to customer feedback regarding the original Cook with M&S app, with an emphasis on user experience and user-centred design to see how it can best be translated to the new Apple device which launched in the UK on the 24th April. This shows great forward-thinking from M&S who have learned to stay agile I a rapidly changing market, where more and more emphasis is being placed on smart tech, to enhance the shopping experience. We’ll be interested to see how this develops and if any other retailers will be following their lead in this rapidly evolving area.