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Posted by Brian Walker on February 19, 2010
Much ink and pixels have already been spilled in celebration or punditry of Apple’s latest splashy consumer device, the iPad, and so I am sorry to subject you to yet another. But there is an interesting angle which the introduction of this device hints at which I have not yet seen covered.
Over the last few years eCommerce platform and technology leaders –from both the client and vendor communities – have been increasingly talking about “dropping the e from eCommerce” and thinking about the technology and solutions that have grown up to power transactional web-sites as a hub to power many channels. Increasingly this is opportunity concerns the physical retail store.
As eCommerce platforms have matured and developed stable, scalable, integration services to publish and subscribe to catalog, customer, content, and transactional data we have seen a number of evolutions, including the relatively simple way in which applications for smartphones have been introduced by both mCommerce specialist firms and eCommerce platform provider, such as ATG, IBM, Fry, Escalate, and many others. The iPad will be running a close cousin to the iPhone operating system, and will run iPhone apps. But a consumer being able to shop from their iPad is not the real opportunity that has multichannel technologists excited. Consumers can just as easily shop from the web from their iPads.
What has people excited is the possibility for the iPad to become a very useful in-store device using custom applications connected to the eCommerce platform via webservices. Possible uses include:
The iPad may be just the tip of the iceberg, but just as the iPhone woke many up to mCommerce possibilities, the iPad introduces a whole new way in which the eCommerce technology stack can be leveraged for new and exciting eCommerce customer experiences across channels.
What do you think? Are you thinking of how your business will use the iPad - and similar devices - in the future?