Almost a month away from Apple Watch’s launch date, retail giant QVC has added Apple Watch functionality to its iPhone and iPad app, which have been downloaded about 3 million times from the app store.
“When customers glance at their watch to see the time, they also can easily and quickly see the item currently on air,” said Venkatesh Natarajan, vice president of IT apps development at QVC in an interview with the Internet Retailer. “It’s even easier than pulling your iPhone out of your pocket to see the item. The primary use case for the Apple Watch features are for when customers are not at home.”
For users on the run, any product can be pushed to the iPhone app’s basket for later review, which would pop up on the screen whenever the user turns on the iPhone for use. The added functionality to QVC’s iPhone app would enable a user to view “on air products” and “today’s special value” products with ratings and details among other things.
QVC plans to keep the user experience on Apple Watch very subtle by judiciously sending push notifications in tiny messages to the user’s watch so as to not take away the personal experience of using the Apple Watch, according to the Internet Retailer.
While QVC has been prompt to add functionality to support sales over Apple Watch, the company doesn’t plan on providing functionality to Android based smartwatches as the company finds the software and hardware market of Android too fragmented. “With Android, you have 15 watches and different versions of the OS; with Apple you have one watch and one OS,” Natarajan told the Internet Retailer. “No Android smartwatch has momentum like the Apple Watch will have on Day 1.”
Not many retailers might be leaping forward to test waters of the fast emerging tech-wearable culture, said Miller. “I don’t think many brands have this check-in culture that we have, so wearables might not be a natural extension for every merchant."