After Monday’s Apple event, the Internet has been a flutter about the Apple Watch. The release of a smart watch from the industry leader in smartphone sales has a lot of people speculating that wearables may finally take off in popularity. As a result, mobile marketers will be faced with a new slew of challenges to reach Apple Watch users and to develop strategies for the emerging device.
What will make or break the success of the Apple Watch—and determine how marketers approach the device—will be the customized apps. While many are still in the early stages of development, there is already a sizable list of app developers ready to launch with the April release date.
The apps for the wearable platform will have to be much more than a smaller version of those made for smartphones. Users will interact differently with the Apple Watch than they do with iPhones—a change that opens up new avenues in voice activation and wireless technology.
A few industry leaders have already jumped to the front of the pack in Apple Watch app development. Here are Marketing Dive’s picks for apps that could determine the overall success of the Apple Watch, and pave the way for other wearable technologies:
1. Marsh Supermarkets
Grocery chain Marsh Supermarkets is developing an app that it claims will be the first use of location beacons in a smart watch. In anticipation of the April Apple Watch launch date, the chain has been loading up its 75 locations with beacons. The app will allow for completely hands-free sourcing of grocery lists, recipes, and push notifications for deals throughout the stores.
This app shows how location-based marketing could be even more effective on a smart watch than a smartphone.
Marsh will also open up the app to its loyalty program that offers coupons and tracks purchases. That data could eventually be utilized to deliver customized ads via the Marsh app to Apple Watch users.
2. Starwood Hotels
The app from Starwood Hotels could make those plastic hotel room keys a thing of the past. The tech-forward chain is working with software company WatchKit to develop an Apple Watch app that unlocks its rooms. The hotel already has a smartphone app with those capabilities.
The Glimpse app, while maybe not as glamorous as some of the others, could be one of the more important smart watch apps to emerge. Glimpse takes web pages and reduces them to bite-sized units that are easily digestible on a screen as small as an Apple Watch. That technology will be instrumental in adapting a whole host of online content for the new device.
Despite the name that looks like a typo, TL;DR is one of the more impressive email apps for the Apple Watch. It breaks down emails into “cards” that are easy to read on a small screen. The cards adapt to the content in each email. If users want to respond quickly, TL;DR offers the ability to tap and reply directly from the card. Email marketers should keep an eye on email development in this space to understand how to best format content.
Braintoss is an app that utilizes a classic tactic—emailing reminders to yourself—for the Apple Watch. Users can speak into the device’s built-in microphone, say what they want to remember, and Braintoss will email it to them for safe keeping. The app could be a benefit to both personal and business users alike.
The leader in CRM and cloud marketing, Salesforce, has developed an app that helps users access information from the platform on the Apple Watch. Users can access snapshots like top 10 sales opportunities in a format that’s conducive to the smaller smart watch screen.