10 September 2014 | Team Tamar

iPhone 6, Apple Watch and Apple Pay: 5 things online retailers need to know

iphone 6 batteryThe entire digital world tuned in last night to follow the long awaited Apple Special Event that promised the unveiling of new products and technology. We were definitely not disappointed! Not only did they reveal two new iPhones and the Apple Watch, but new card-less payment technology stunned the retail industry.

1. A bigger screen makes a responsive website a must

Despite the usual tradition of unveiling the new iPhone roughly 40 minutes into the presentation, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus were the first ones up, revealing the new features including the iSight 8-megapixel camera, and the improved battery life.

In case you’ve somehow missed them, here are the specs of the two new iPhones that will become available in just two days (September 12):

iPhone 6

6.9mm thick

4.7” screen

1334X750 resolution

Brand new A8 processor

50% faster graphics performance

iPhone 6 Plus

7.1mm thick

5.5” screen, full HD 1080pxiphone 6

The arrival of these phones emphasises the importance of mobile even more; with the two screen sizes the importance of having a mobile friendly site that’s responsive is greater than ever. Apple has claimed that their smaller screens were ideal for single hand use, but as competitors bring out bigger and bigger screens it seems they’ve finally seen the value. Now that Apple has adopted the larger screen, it just demonstrates the need for a responsive site to cope with the varying sizes.

With over 20% of Google searches being carried out on mobile, online shopping via mobile is only increasing and is made even easier with a larger screen to browse. Online retailers and businesses that aren’t responsive should get to work (quickly!) as expectations for user experience will be at an all-time high and no one can afford to frustrate anyone.

2. It’s all about ease of use140909_EM_ApplePay

Probably the biggest announcement for online retailers was Apple Pay. The latest in contactless payment technology, Apple Pay could revolutionalise online payments by creating a one-touch checkout, completely eradicating the time-consuming act of filling in card and address details.

3. Security should be a priority

Not only will this likely have an impact on online conversion rate, but the high level of security may help increase trust. This will likely also increase in-app purchases. None of your personal information, including the card information itself will be shared with the merchant as it uses a unique ‘Device Account Number’ along with a transaction-specific dynamic security code to process the payment.

4. It’s no longer just about function

apple watch

Although being prematurely dubbed the ‘iWatch’ the Apple Watch definitely lived up to expectations. The focus of this new product is not just functionality but style, by dropping the ‘I’ they are shifting their audience base from tech-addicts to those who want to reflect their personal style in their gadgets.

5. There is great scope for brand integration

The watch has been gifted with multiple features, with a focus on health and fitness tracking. Aiming to ‘make you move more and sit less’, you can track how long you’re inactive for using the ‘Stand Ring’ as well as help you track your progress on your daily goals with the ‘Move Ring’.

This opens up multiple opportunities for brands who want to integrate their own apps and technology with the Apple Watch. Numerous brands have already got on board, with BMW letting you check how charged your BMW i3 is as well as giving you directions back to your car. Fitness giant Nike is also getting involved; allowing you to challenge your friends or simply tell them when you’re off on a run.

Before investing buckets of money into developing the technology, brands should be aware that only 8% of shoppers will purchase wearable tech in the next year. Now the Apple Watch has been unveiled, this number may change but it’s important to understand the market before jumping in head first.

The Apple Watch will come in 3 ‘collections’: The Apple Watch (a silver unit with a selection of straps), The Apple Watch Sport (with a brushed aluminium
body) and The Apple Watch Edition (18 carat gold). With the release date scheduled for early 2015, the initial sales will gives brands and retailers an idea of their popularity.

You must also be an iPhone owner to be able to use the Apple Watch, which may not cause too many problems with iOS having 42.4% of the market share, but for the non-iPhone users out there, the ability to use the Apple Watch won’t be enough to make them switch.

As of yet, it’s only available in the US with 200,000 stores, accounting for 2.4% of the US merchants that accept credit cards. Unfortunately for the majority of merchants, the process of updating their point-of-sale systems to be compatible with the technology is incredibly expensive and they will need a pretty good incentive to do it.

Overall, Apple came out with a lot of impressive technology yesterday, getting us all very excited but it will undoubtedly take a while for some of their new ideas to gain popularity in the eyes of the consumer. Without doubt, having a mobile-friendly, responsive site should be top priority for any online business, but integrating with Apple’s other gadgets should be thought of and planned far more carefully.

Team Tamar