YouGov says wearable tech will play an important role in retail

smartwatch wearables tech

As smartwatches enter the mainstream, retailers will need to embrace this technology in order to keep up.

According to a recent statement made by YouGov, as wearable tech becomes a growing part of the everyday lives of the majority of the population, brick and mortar retailers are going to need to start to embrace what these devices have to offer in order to improve their in-store experience in a way that will allow them to compete with online-only merchants.

The statement, made by YouGov director Russell Feldman, called wearables “an odd beast”.

In that, Feldman was referring to the fact that they are a combination of a higher technology version of existing products, but also represent a brand new distinct emerging category. He explained that “As wearables increase their scope to include the likes of rings, jewellery and accessories, retailers will have to answer a simple question: where should they put them in the shop?”

YouGov feels that retailers need to answer some questions with regards to how wearable tech can be used.

smartwatch wearables techHe asked a number of different questions, such as whether fitness bands should be categorized in a special wearables section or whether they are a sports device. He also posed the question with regards to whether smartwatches should be seen as another type of timepiece like wristwatches, or if it should be placed alongside consumer technology devices.

He stated that unless it is possible for an answer to be found “definitively and in a unified way across retailers, consumers could end up shunning bricks and mortar retailers out of sheer confusion.”

These statements were made by YouGov following research that was conducted with the participation of 2,898 adults across the United Kingdom that determined that 62 percent of current owners of wearable tech devices had purchased their gadgets online. Amazon was the largest seller of these devices (31 percent), followed by John Lewis (5 percent), eBay (5 percent), and Currys/PC World (3 percent). Among the owners of wearables, 72 percent researched their devices in advance and only 16 percent of them went into a brick and mortar store to see a physical version of the product before making a purchase.

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