You just can’t ignore the hype which is building around latest wearable technology. It is quite true that the technology is still in its formative years. However the pace with which new launches and unique initiatives are hitting the market, suggest that this is one segment which is moving at rapid pace. According to market experts, the hype surrounding wearable tech is not something temporary which will subside with time. Rather this initiative to invent new technologies and products is stimulated by some real interest.
Market analysts feel that consumers have special weakness towards wearable tech in general with special stress on fitness and wellbeing wearables. Health tracking devices like bands, bracelets and watches are very much in demand nowadays. These gadgets have already become extremely popular among technology and sport enthusiasts. Big brands like Nike, Misfit, FitBit and Jawbone have entered the market in big way, vying for consumer attention. However, in order to make wearable tech widely acceptable, a smart retailing approach is very much needed.
Till date, consumer unawareness has remained one of the biggest stumbling blocks for retailers who tried to sell these through direct stores. Whenever a new product is launched, some specific buyer segments like techies, health enthusiasts or sportspersons tend to enquire about these launches. General buyers are either unaware or unwilling to try out wearables right now.
Retailers who are into wearable tech, thereby, need to fulfill their responsibility by creating awareness and approaching the right consumer segment to market latest gadgets. In the long run, this awareness drive will prove to be economically beneficial for the overall wearable segment. The approach till now, remains is to sell products through internet for which crowdfunding platforms and e-commerce services are mainly used. Amazon and eBay have remained pioneers in this regard. One reason could be that wearable devices are actually multidisciplinary in nature.
Most of these products exhibit a bonding of technology and fashion. This throws challenge for common retailers who find it difficult to match these new gadgets with their existing portfolios. Take for instance retailers who are into consumer electronics. They might be in dilemma about whether to include wellness and lifestyle bands or watches in their existing product bouquet since these better complement portfolios of a sport retailer or gym chain. Again, a watch retailer might find it tough to decide whether a smart glass to be included in its category.
If retailers are indeed interested in expanding wearable tech market they need to adopt a different approach. This segment will thrive only if the wearable device retailer can be conceptualized as a distinct entity. This might sound bit improbable but by merging a tech store and a fashion outlet, it will be possible to present buyers with a complete wearable tech buying experience.
Retailers trying to sell wearables in stores will do well by coming up with a physical space where consumers can experience the device and then take purchase decision. Once these retailers successfully work out the collaboration, nothing could stop progress of wearable tech in the retail segment.