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Apple Watch Brings Shopping to the Small Screen

With the customary fanfare and media adulation its product announcements attract, the denizens of a particular tech company in Cupertino, CA, brought forth the Apple Watch. This latest offering from Apple ranges in price from an entry level $349 for a Sport model up to $17,000 for a rose gold Edition version.

Since it is Apple, the Watch will likely find its way onto the wrists of the always desirable niche possessing disposable income and a willingness to spend it. Retailers via apps created for the Apple Watch will try to reach those customers.

Amazon.com proved a frontrunner by announcing its Shopping App the day of the Apple Watch launch. The feature set Amazon made available probably presents a template for competing shopping app developers to embrace, with voice search, wish list additions, and save-for-later capability.

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Amazon’s app also supports the company’s 1-Click purchase feature, which itself helped to deliver a cautionary tale about using it on the Apple Watch. A reporter at CNet demonstrating the Amazon app accidentally managed to 1-Click an order for an Xbox One gaming console. It took a separate visit to another computer to log in to Amazon and cancel that purchase.

Sites like eBay and Etsy have delivered apps for the Apple Watch, but their functionality doesn’t give the user a purchasing option from the wrist. With Etsy for example, via Apple’s Handoff, the shopper would go from the watch to their iPhone to make a purchase through the Etsy app there.

Another early entry into the Apple Watch app environment is fashion selling/networking site Poshmark. A key feature offers real time updates, alerting wearers when one of Poshmark’s sellers makes something available that matches their desired brands.

Company CEO and founder Manish Chandra told EcommerceBytes the company expects to see early adopters of this new technology in places like New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, before it follows the “general flow of tech” to the rest of the country.

Though EcommerceBytes also inquired as to what might indicate early success or brand popularity with an app on Apple Watch, Chandra thinks it is too soon to speculate. Chandra also noted the company’s attention to mobile shoppers starting almost four years ago, when it seemed the marketplace believed people wouldn’t shop from their smartphones and tablets.

“The rising trend from the watch feels very much like the trends from the mobile phone – they both are a new core platform,” Chandra said.

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David A Utter

David A. Utter is a freelance writer based in Lexington, KY. He has covered technology topics from search to security to online business and has been quoted in places like ZDNet and BusinessWeek. He considers his appearance on NPR’s “All Things Considered” with long-time host Robert Siegel a delightful highlight. You can find him on Twitter @davidautter and on LinkedIn.


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