On September 9, 2015, Apple launched its latest iteration of the Apple TV. It has all the usual bells and whistles you’d expect from Apple – a remote control that lets you “swipe” quickly through lists, Siri’s voice command feature, and so on – but the big news for ecommerce is the ability to download retailer apps. We’ve grown to accept that there are apps for just about everything on our mobile devices. Order a meal, learn a language, play a game, buy a pair of shoes; there are very few areas of our lives devoid of an app. Now Apple is bringing them to a TV screen near you.
It’s the new click & shop
The redesigned Apple TV has an App Store, just like any Apple mobile device, with apps that can be downloaded to the TV. Using the new glass touch surface Siri remote, a shopper can choose a retailer app, swipe through categories of products for sale, view product details and even complete a purchase. Already, at the September 9 launch, e-retailer, Gilt, announced the integration of its online shopping services with Apple TV. And you can bet it won’t be long before other ecommerce stores will want to follow suit.
What’s the BIG Deal…? It’s the screen!
Will there be challenges and opportunities arising for e-retailers from the new Apple TV launch? Definitely. Well-merchandized products will always be essential for successful ecommerce retailing. Apple TV isn’t going to change that. What will change is the scale and opportunity that a 50-inch or larger TV can present to engaging your customers. Retailers will now have to be prepared to merchandize products for both a 5.5-inch mobile device and a 55-inch smart TV screen. Think about reading a product description or looking at product images from 20 feet away while sitting on the couch. What is that experience going to like for your shoppers?
Get it Done
As the new Apple TV rolls out in the next few weeks, we’ll begin to see how online shoppers receive it and also what new opportunities it offers retailers. Perhaps the biggest opportunity will be for retailers to turn their focus to what will make their ecommerce store experience unique at this new scale. It is inevitable that retailers will have to rethink how they merchandize products to ensure their customers are getting the best out of this new platform.
If they haven’t already, many retailers will begin developing their own apps for the Apple TV.