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Apple’s Passbook – a game changer in online commerce?

Apple’s iPhone may be the smartphone, and the latest iteration of it, the iPhone 5, looks set to sell like hotcakes.

But while Apple may not have made any bold strides this week with the iPhone 5 itself,  In its latest version, Apple has added a new app named Passbook, which could be a game changer in online commerce as it looks to taking its dominance in the smartphone arena and extending it to other mobile opportunities, such as commerce and advertising.

The app acts as a central location for consumers to store their tickets, loyalty cards, coupons, passes, etc.

As Adweek’s Christopher Heine explains, Passbook could become more than a Google Wallet-like offering that simply allows consumers to make purchases and store digital tickets on their iPhones:

Theoretically, merchants can code Passbook offers and deliver them via email, Web or within their brand apps. These Passbook items (coupons, discounts, etc.) can be associated with up to 10 locations via latitude and longitude coordinates.

Those coordinates provide Passbook with the ability to offer reminders on a person’s home screen, similar to push notifications, that an item in his or her Passbook is available for redemption (e.g., coupon) when the consumer nears those designated coordinates. Additionally, merchants can provide updates—through push notifications—to Passbook items without any user interaction required.

This, of course, will enable scenarios marketers “have theorized about for more than a decade.” So it’s no surprise that companies seem eager to jump on the Passbook bandwagon. Delta Airlines, Ticketmaster, and Starwood Hotels have joined the list of companies expected to be participants in Passbook’s launch. Others believed to be on board include Starbucks, United Airlines and Amtrak.

What does Passbook mean for small businesses?

This new app may not have an immediate, direct impact on small businesses today, but small businesses should be keeping a close eye on how things develop with the new app.

Passbook looks to be a huge win-win for marketers and consumers. For businesses – as a means to deliver digital connections quickly and efficiently to current and potential consumers of their businesses. We know that mobile is only becoming more and more important and that no business can afford to ignore it.

Imagine being able to engage with consumers in real time—at the right time, in the right place, and on the right device. Keep reading our blog to hear more!

What do you think of Apple’s Passbook app? How could your small business use this technology? 

Now is the time to be thinking of how you can use it to gain competitive advantage for your business!