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Wearables are coming to a store near you. According to April 2015 research by PowerReviews, 30% of US smartphone owners owned or planned to purchase a wearable device in the next 12 months. Among this group, 82% wanted such devices to enhance their in-store experience, and nearly half wanted to leverage wearables to save time when shopping.
Respondents hoped wearables wouldn’t let them forget a loved-one’s birthday or that special anniversary ever again, as 28% said they would be interested in receiving event reminders while shopping in-store. One-quarter wanted alerts to long lines in stores, emphasizing the need for retailers to integrate their online-offline presence. Some consumers have already expressed interest in using wearables for mobile payments, and 22% of PowerReviews respondents were interested in touchless or one-click payments. Rounding out the list were interactive maps, cited by one-fifth of respondents.
On the other side, associates could also leverage wearables—and the data that comes along with them—to create personalized and seamless in-store experiences. A March 2015 study by Salesforce.com looked at wearable technology adoption among business professionals. When the research asked US enterprise wearable adopters about their current or planned customer-facing uses of wearable tech, 41% cited loyalty rewards. Using wearables at the point of sale, for immersive experiences or for location-sensing technology were each cited by 40%. Similar numbers also used or intended to use wearables to serve targeted ads and offers or provide an integrated shopping experience.
More than one-third of PowerReviews respondents who were interested in wearables wanted to make their lives easier, and retailers looking to satisfy this demand during the shopping process must determine how to best merge these digital devices with the physical store.
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