What the Apple Watch and Android Pay mean for eCommerce

apple watch and android pay

Now that it has been on the market for a while, what kind of an impact has the Apple Watch had on eCommerce, and how will Android Pay affect its success? Read on to find the answers…

In the last article on the Apple Watch, I spoke of the problems that Apple could face trying to break into this market, such as the constant need to evolve the product towards customer requirements and the idea of trying to create a cohesive relationship between fashion and technology. 

So, after a few months of the release, what’s the verdict?

In terms of fashion, it certainly isn’t winning hearts any time soon, and there have been recent reports of huge flops in sales, but it has one major advantage which could work in conjunction with another eCommerce trend: contactless payments. If you missed our article on this evolution in commerce, take a look at it here , but if you’re up to speed, you’ll know just how prominently this topic has been pushed into the limelight recently, thanks to Apple Pay.

Apple Pay has provided the Apple Watch with a very strong USP in the world of commerce, and something that is certainly likely to catch on, but the key to understanding the Apple Watch lies in not thinking of it as a small iPhone on your wrist. The way you are supposed to interact with it is totally different from any other wearable to date; interactions are mere seconds as opposed to minutes on the iPhone. The whole point of this device is to enhance the user’s life. Nowhere is this more obvious than with the flick-of-the-wrist convenience provided by Apple Pay.

Apple VS. Android

It was only a matter of time before Android retaliated to the Apple Pay movement with their own version of the technology. As I mentioned in my other article, the implications of this new payment method have the potential to be huge, and very fast given that there are more than 800,000 Android-based wearables out there so far – theoretically, it has a far greater potential reach than Apple Pay.

It will most likely be restricted to mobiles for some time, and to the US for that matter, but with such a huge share of the marketplace when you include other wearable devices that support Android software, the uptake potential of this is unlimited. Given the huge market share that Android has over iOS, this should improve the chances of consumer adoption, as will the fact that Apple Pay has given major banks the time to catch up, with Santander joining the ranks of Apple Pay adopters this month. 

So, it could work in Android’s favour that Apple have paved the way for them. With the service launching in the UK in July, by the time Android are ready to roll out their version overseas, banks, retailers and the public will be used to using it and they could see a larger uptake than expected.

What does this mean for my eCommerce business?

In terms of Android and Apple Pay, making transactions easier can only ever be a good thing, right? And that ease of payment in apps will help to drive down cart abandonment figures, but what about the wearables market? How will you adapt?

In the eCommerce landscape, there is always progression towards better website content and how to alert customers to your message. When you add wearables to the mix, they highlight a crucial challenge that eCommerce providers will have to consider: they have tackled website content, they’ve tackled mobile content… now it’s the wearable’s turn! 

For those eCommerce businesses that do choose to invest in apps as well as a site, they will need to completely re-think the language and manner in which they put across their products and services – what really matters to the customer? In turn, it is also sure to have a huge impact on the perspective of the customer and how they view products, so retailers will have to think hard about how they can put across their products within that tiny circle of opportunity. 


For the Apple Watch, and for the majority of eCommerce businesses, it will clearly be some time before this is a well-established method of buying with any clout in the marketplace. Although up-take times for technology are decreasing with every new gadget release, it is apparent that this new concept of purchasing via wearable tech is difficult for people to get their head around.

However, the Apple/Android Pay development is a far more serious one, and one which could completely change the nature of eCommerce. While the Apple Watch still retains its critics, the ease of purchasing that it brings coupled with the traction that Apple Pay is gaining in the market could be the selling point it needs. It is still the latest “hot item” to hit the wearables market, so if that too gains momentum via the Android Pay addition, it could really start to take off.

Watch this space.

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