We all knew it was coming but we kinda expected Apple to be the first one to market the Smartwatch. Although the fifth iPod Nano generation kinda looked like a watch, it was not one.
Samsung just launched the Samsung Galaxy Gear Smartwatch (I’ll just stick with “Samsung Smartwatch”). The company’s CEO, mr. J.K. Shin, unveiled the gadget in front of a 2.5 k audience in Berlin, two days before the opening of IFA Berlin.
Among other features, the Samsung Smartwatch comes in 6 colors (Jet Black, Mocha Gray, Wild Orange, Oatmeal Beige, Rose Gold, and Lime Green) and users can choose from 12 third party apps (58 more to be announced). One of those is powered by Ebay.
What does Ebay’s App for Smartwatch do?
First off, just as you might expect, Ebay’s Smartwatch app is really limited in terms of features, mostly due to the low interaction area. With a 320×320 px amoled screen the Samsung Smartwatch is not the world’s best platform for mobile commerce apps.
It is, however, big enough to handle things such as bidding, alerts and a simplified browsing system.
As Ebay is moving into mobile apps that improve users experience and retention the app is a bold move and it may be more to it than it meets the eye.
Could Ebay for smartwatch handle barcode scanning or instant bidding?
One of the things that sets Samsung’s Smartwatch appart from the competitition is the 1.9 megapixel built-in camera. It might just be that the most interesting thing about this device, in terms of mobile commerce, could be the camera’s possible barcode scanning abilities. In such a case users could just walk into a store, test products, scan the barcode and later purchase the product on Ebay.
An instant bidding feature that follows barcode scanning might just make sense when it comes to smartwatch commerce.
Is there any future to Smartwatch Commerce?
We all know that mobile commerce has not yet really taken off. People are indeed using mobile apps to search for products, browse online stores but they are not actually shopping. When it comes to to smartphones or even tablets, customers are yet to be as trusty with mobile apps or mobile versions of online stores. When tablets and smartphones can’t really deliver how would a 320×320 px resolution smartwatch do that?
The answer is that we shouldn’t treat different screens as separate media. They are part of the multichannel experience that drives the customer to purchase a product. The customer will probably scan a product to find info online regarding the price, compare it on a mobile phone or tablet to other products, read the full description and get more info on the desktop or the brick and mortar store and than purchase.
Ebay’s strategy to build a multichannel, multidevice customer experience might be the winning formula. It sure did work miracles for Apple.