Woolworths to launch shopping app for Apple Watch

Woolworths is releasing its Woolies Shop app this month, one of the first apps to be available on the Apple Watch, which has been designed to help customers find their nearest stores and navigate the aisles according to their shopping lists.

Woolworths has announced that it will be releasing its Woolies Shop app for the Apple Watch in Australia on April 24.

Set to be one of the first apps available on the Apple Watch, the Woolies Shop app has been in development since early December 2014. It was developed in conjunction with Bilue and Neoteny.

The app has been designed to take advantage of the Apple Watch Glance feature that shows users the most relevant information for shopping. By swiping up on the watch, Woolies Shop can provide customers information about store locations, walking and driving distances, and opening hours.

Shopping lists can also be created on the app and sorted by aisle order to help customers navigate easily through the store. Users will also be able to tick items off their shopping lists.

According to Cameron Barrie, Bilue managing director, the software development kit that was provided by Apple for the watch was the same as previous Apple products, which from a development perspective made it easier.

Barrie added that the introduction of the Apple Watch will offer a different overall shopping experience to users, even if they own a smartphone.

"We think because we have our phones and it's always there in your pocket, you don't have to go over there to open up your laptop; but the watch takes that to whole another level. I don't even have to get it out of my pocket, it's right on my wrist.

"Things like Glances are just a swipe away. You could use a lot of these features to surface really important content at any point in time. I think we thought how we could use that as part of the in-store experience was the first thing that came to mind.

"These devices are with me anywhere, anytime, they're not for deep interaction points, it is more like 'in and out in five seconds' kind of thing."

Bilue, together with Neoteny, will continue to provide ongoing technical support for the Woolies Shop app once it is released. The focus will be figuring out new ways to help shoppers make the in-store shopping experience easier, but it will be dependent on how customers choose to use the watch and the app.

"This is what we're really excited about, because none of us have seen people use this thing, we keep asking, 'How are they going to use it?' It's like how when the iPad came out, how are people going to use this device. It's a really exciting and fascinating time, and there have been a lot of demand from customers around how they take advantage of this third screen," Barrie said.

While the app has been designed to work in tandem with the iPhone, it can also be used by itself on the iPhone, too.

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