This year's WWDC showcased a variety of ways retailers will be able to build more captivating shopping apps. Coming in Fall 2017, iOS 11 will introduce a redesigned App Store, machine learning, AR, and more.
Branding Brand iOS Engineer Deema Abdallah discussed how retailers should take advantage of the latest updates.
What are the most significant updates for retailers in iOS 11?
iOS 11 brings great new features to help retailers reshape their app experiences. ARKit, Core ML, and Business Chat are definitely the most critical updates that retailers should consider.
What new opportunities will retailers have with ARKit?
With ARKit, retailers can take their shopping experiences beyond a device's screen and build virtual content on top of real-world components, providing customers with the ability to envision products in respect to real-life objects. Ultimately, it will increase app engagement and enhance the buying journey.
How will machine learning affect retailers?
Core ML integrates machine learning capabilities to predict shopping trends.
The Natural Language API uses machine learning to deeply understand text for smarter predictive searches, meaning more purchases and higher ROI.
Additionally, building image analysis features into your app is easily achieved with the Vision framework. Uses include text, face, landmark, and barcode detection; object tracking; and image registration. Coupled with ARKit and machine learning, these capabilities open the door to new possibilities for creating smarter and more engaging shopping experiences.
How will Business Chat will affect customer experiences?
Business Chat connects retailers directly with their customers through Messages. Retailers will be able to answer shoppers' questions, suggest products, send them in-chat notifications, and even complete transactions using Apple Pay. Apple is also allowing businesses to build their own custom app extensions in Messages.
How will phased releases help retailers launch and update their shopping apps?
Phased releases will help retailers try out new updates to a subset of users before rolling them out to everyone. This will allow brands to continuously innovate without sacrificing brand perception and avoid having too many users update the app at the same time, which can cause crashes.
What should retailers do to ensure their apps aren't automatically uninstalled?
Increased user engagement is key to avoid automatic app uninstallation. This starts during the onboarding experience, but it doesn't stop there! Encourage app customers to keep coming back. Connect with them through customized experiences and personalization, and take advantage of the capabilities that come with iOS 11 to increase app engagement.