The “global wearable electronics market will grow by USD 35.67 billion during 2019-2023,” according to a study by Technavio, a market research firm. Brands have been taking advantage of the opportunities that wearables offer for several years, but the increasing dominance of digital life is driving wearable sales to new levels. The larger wearable market is creating the opportunity for more wearable marketing activations in marketing and, in turn, for consumer electronics companies to create more wearable technology to keep up with marketing and consumer demands.
Marketers Can Enhance Shopping Experiences With Wearables
Although mobile has clearly become a massive revenue generator that marketers ably craft marketing campaigns around, wearables offer the opportunity to further target consumers. The “in the moment” aspect of wearing a watch allows marketers to capitalize on spontaneous interactions, particularly through geo-targeting and retail experiences.
Through real-time marketing consumers can be informed of sales and re-stocks of the store they are in, or even a nearby store, encouraging them to make visits or purchases. While this information can be sent via SMS or email, wearables offer a more immediate connection and a differentiated user experience less likely to be scrolled past. Half of consumers believe wearables could improve their shopping experiences through personalization, and retailers are creating wearable apps to capture those consumers. Domino’s, for example, tailored their innovative “Domino’s Tracker” for smartwatches, letting consumers view their order progress from their wrists.
Wearables Can Seamlessly Integrate Into Brand Evolutions
John Hancock recently switched their policy holders over to Hancock partner the Vitality Group, an interactive insurance company already popular in other countries. According to Reuters, interactive insurance policy holders “score premium discounts for hitting exercise targets tracked on wearable devices such as a Fitbit or Apple Watch and get gift cards for retail stores and other perks by logging their workouts and healthy food purchases in an app.” Interactive insurance policies can be a win for insurers and policy holders, and the use of wearables creates a frictionless integration popular with consumers. A tap on the watch, and rewards points are on their way.
Banks are also implementing new ways to use wearables as their business models become more and more reliant on digital innovation. Retail brands and ecommerce, like Walgreens and Dick’s Sporting Goods, have been incorporating wearables into their business models for several years, often through rewards programs.
Wearables Are Helping With The Bottom Line For Consumer Electronics Companies
As sales slow for Apple with the many iterations of iPhones beginning to wane in interest for consumers, wearables have been a bright spot for the iconic corporation. While Apple’s overall revenue has fallen 5% in 2019, the wearables division, inclusive of the Apple Watch and AirPods headphones, grew by 30%. And, though smart watches from all brands are expected to consume 47% of the wearables market by 2023, many technology brands are also innovating wearables beyond just watches.
According to Mobile Marketer, “Amazon is reportedly developing earbuds that work with its voice-powered virtual assistant Alexa, as the e-commerce giant seeks to take on Apple's popular AirPods in the mobile wearables market.” By merging home devices with wearables, Amazon increases its access to consumers, and consumers have more options for placing orders.
Like the smart phone revolution which began 20 years ago, the future is wide open for marketers when it comes to wearables. Individual apps, omnichannel integrations and rewards programs are just the beginning for this burgeoning relationship between new technology and marketing optimizations.
But, as always, marketers should be wary of jumping on the bandwagon without a smart strategy. When smartphones first launched, many branded apps had no real marketing value. It’s easy to imagine wearables apps taking the same path. There is fantastic marketing opportunity in the wearables market, but to experience success, all marketing efforts must be clearly tied to marketing objectives.