Heads up National Brands & Retailers: Wearable Technology is About to Transform Marketing

As the adoption of wearable devices – ranging from the Apple Watch and Pebble Steel Smartwatch to fitness trackers such as Fitbit and Garmin Forerunners – continues to grow exponentially, more and more national brands and retailers are identifying wearables as a potential marketing game changer.


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Offering marketers an avenue to leverage on-the-spot customer data to deliver personalized and customer-specific messages, wearables have opened the door to breaking down consumer behavior to a practically granular level. Allowing marketers to glean insights into the seemingly more passive but acutely more intimate portions of consumers’ lives, wearables are (and will increasingly continue to) enable brands to reach a whole new level of consumer understanding. How these learnings and insights will be used will become increasingly important (and exponentially intricate).


According to a new study released by Ipsos, 80% of American adults have at least heard of wearable devices, while more than 40% are “very familiar” or already own a wearable gadget. This correlates with a recent Business Insider Intelligence report prediction that by 2019, more than 140 million units of wearable technology will be shipped annually, nearly triple the projection for this year.


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Couple those facts with a PowerReviews study which found that of smartphone owners who already own or plan to purchase a wearable device within the next year 82% want their wearable device to enhance their in-store shopping experience and nearly 50% expect devices to save them time while shopping. The full report, packed with interesting stats, indicates that wearables are seemingly destined to become consumers new “in-store shopping buddies”.


One thing that is notably clear: location and proximity will play a critical role in creating the sort of personalized experience merited by the perceived intimacy of the data that these devices provide. While top brand marketers have already begun to work to take advantage of this opportunity and gain insight into a consumer’s habits and preferences – by providing  on-the-spot coupons and customer service – this channel is (and will continue to) present some unique challenges in regard to consumers’ personal feelings around privacy. National brands and retailers looking to seize this opportunity must now determine how to best merge these digital devices with the physical, in-store experience.


Check out these three resources to help ensure that integrating wearable technology into your marketing strategy doesn’t haphazardly alienate prospective customers:

  1. How Should Brands Use Wearable Technology (Internet Retailer)
  2. How Wearables Are Transforming Marketing (iMediaConnection)
  3. Wearable Technology: The Ultimate in Personal Marketing (ClickZ)