6 Things Every Retailer Needs to Know about WWDC 2017

WWDC 2017Source: Apple

This year’s Worldwide Developers Conference made it clear that iOS users quickly adopt the latest operating system versions. Currently, 86% of iOS devices are running iOS 10.

iOS 11 will be available in the fall, and retailers should prepare for these upcoming changes:

1. App Store

Apple’s App Store is getting a new look. The new App Store will display tabs for Today, Games, Apps, Updates, and Search. By breaking out games from other app categories, shopping apps should get much better visibility in the redesigned app store.

Native apps, like Mail, are also getting a face lift. Retailers should consider refreshing their apps to make their experiences seamless and consistent with Apple’s mobile apps, which showcase bolder fonts.

2. Machine Learning

Machine learning and artificial intelligence were the key themes surrounding this year’s conference. Apple introduced Core ML, which features the Vision and Natural Language Processing APIs. This new technology will help Siri and other apps become smarter by predicting shoppers’ mobile moments and making search more contextual.

3. App-Integrated Reality

There’s a big push for connecting digital and physical worlds, and Apple announced several ways that will make this even easier for retailers. Introduced as the “largest AR platform in the world,” ARKit is a great foundation to create immersive augmented reality experiences. Shoppers with the iPhone 6s and newer will be able to envision what products will look like in real life.

Indoor location is another way that retailers will benefit from tying apps and physical locations together. This new capability will roll out to select airports and malls around the world, including the U.S., Japan, and China. Using QR codes or NFC tags in your stores? QR codes can be scanned by the native camera app to direct people to your shopping app in the App Store or connect them to your in-store WiFi. NFC tags can be scanned in-app to provide shoppers with more product information.

4. App Updates

Users will be able to quickly access apps in Messages with the revamped app drawer, which has potential to increase app adoption and retention. Additionally, retailers will be able to launch new updates to shopping apps in phased releases to ensure every last feature and function is running perfectly before making it available to everyone.

Engaging with your app users is more important than ever. A new setting in iOS 11  can automatically uninstall apps that haven’t been used in a while. App data will be preserved in case users decide to reinstall it.

5. Messages

Business messaging is coming to iOS devices and will help retailers provide great customer service. With person-to-person Apple Pay money transfers in Messages, mobile payment adoption may increase. Money can be used immediately in stores that accept Apple Pay, and transactions may be able to occur in Messages.

6. Safari

iOS and macOS updates include intelligent tracking prevention, which could negatively impact website behavior analytics, like ad blockers have done in the past. Retailers should consider mobile apps if they haven’t done so already as this new feature has no effect on apps and their data.

Learn more about Apple updates

Topics: Trends Recap

What Every Retailer Needs to Know about Google I/O 2017

Google_IO_2017.pngSource: Google

At the Google I/O keynote, the company announced many new features that have the potential to change the future of retail. 

Here are the top ways Google I/O's announcements affect retailers: 

Immediately Effective

Four announcements made at keynote have an instant effect on the state of retail, including:

1. Instant Apps

Out of beta and now available to everyone, make your mobile shopping experiences seamless with an Android app. Get up and running faster than ever, and let your customers access a rich, native experience without installation—all they need to do is visit your website directly or from a link. Early adopters experienced double digit increases in purchases.

2. Google Payment API

Most people start their shopping journeys on mobile, and conversion increases every day. Use saved credit cards across Google Play, Chrome, and Android Pay to streamline checkout.

3. Android O: Notifications

There’s a lot to love in the new Android operating system, like notifications, which are getting an upgrade. Shoppers can subscribe to “notification channels” you create to make sure they get the information they care about. Additionally, “Notification Dots” on the app icon get your shoppers attention, and a long press reveals app messaging from the homescreen.

Other notable new features include picture-in-picture, significant security and performance optimizations, and copyless paste, a smarter way to autofill.

4. Android Go

This lighter-weight OS focuses on entry-level devices with little storage as well as those with limited connectivity. It will automatically be installed on new devices running Android O.

Forward Thinking

Although not immediately actionable and worthwhile as those mentioned earlier, the following announcements caught our eye as cutting-edge technology that has the ability to shape the future of digital commerce.

1. Google Vision API / Lens

Visual search and image recognition is getting closer to reality. Images will be associated with tags and attributes, which could make Google Assistant everyone’s new favorite personal shopper. Speaking of...

2. Google Assistant

Available on Android and iOS, Google Assistant features natural language processing and voice recognition, so people can have a real conversation with their virtual helper. Google Assistant can place an order using the Google Payment API and provide proactive notifications about shipments and necessary refills.

3. Indoor Geolocation

Google is making beacons irrelevant with Tango, its indoor positioning technology. It will help mobile devices identify their location without the inaccuracies of GPS, which could lead to better in-store navigation as well as product location and information.

4. VR / AR

VR headset Daydream is compatible with few devices, but Google is adding support for more, which makes it a potential heavy hitter in the long run for retailers who want to experiment with virtual and augmented reality.

Learn more about Android updates

Topics: Trends Recap

[FREE DOWNLOAD] "Customer Obsession: Retailers' Power Play for Victory" Webinar Recap


94% of companies plan to transform their culture to become more customer centric this year, but what does that mean?

To break it down, customer obsession is comprised of three parts:
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Topics: Omnichannel Trends Solutions Recap Company Webinar

[FREE DOWNLOAD] "How to Use the Buyer Journey to Improve CX" Webinar Recap

"How to Use the Buyer Journey to Improve CX" Webinar Recap

70% of businesses say improving the customer experience is their top priority, but before retailers can start building better experiences, they must understand the buyer journey.

Learn how retailers can develop a 360° view of shoppers and their omnichannel shopping journey through mobile apps and other digital initiatives, and discover which retailers are setting the bar high for online and in-store shopping experiences to succeed in the "Age of the Customer."


Topics: Omnichannel Trends Solutions Recap Company Webinar

[FREE DOWNLOAD] "4 Opportunities to Win in the Digital Retail World" Webinar Recap

"4 Opportunities to Win in the Digital Retail World" Webinar Recap

In this webinar, Branding Brand and Forrester unveiled this year's top digital initiatives and how they connect to today's hot tech trends and retailers' existing investments.

You'll learn about these topics:
  • Personalization
  • Omnichannel
  • Analytics
  • Digital store tech
  • Chatbots


Topics: Omnichannel Trends Solutions Recap Company Webinar