In Depth

Twelve Reasons Why Wearables Are Now

"Consumers are hungry for a connection."

And as the many technology innovations across the payments and commerce space have shown, that connection is no longer necessarily through other human beings. In fact, with the advent of mobile devices, it's now almost never through other human beings.

But it’s increasingly through mobile. And that's where wearables comes into play – specifically wearables and shopping. Apple is in the game, and players like Swatch will soon be as well. Samsung had its watch before Apple. And, Google's latest I/O conference announcements have only reinforced the company's interest in wearables, too. And Google's recent announcement with Levi's suggests that “PantsPay” might even be in our future!

PowerReviews just released its latest report on wearables and although wearables might have had a tough time getting out of the starting blocks, their research suggests that it’s time for retailers now to sit up and take notice. Wearables, they profess, are more than a passing fancy.

“Retailers need to meet consumers where they are, and more than ever consumers are using mobile devices to help them shop online and in-store. Winning retailers will provide personalized, localized reviews and other information to consumers on their mobiles, smartwatches through apps, mobile-friendly websites, and social media," said Matt Parsons, Chief Customer Officer for PowerReviews.

But how much do those wearables and devices really play a role in the shopping, and most importantly, the purchase experience? Here's what their survey of more than 1,000 U.S.  consumers revealed. We've gathered the 12 facts to show what they survey shows.

How Wearables And Mobile Play A Role In The Consumer Shopping And Purchase Experience

91 Percent - Numbers of shoppers using

 Conclusion: In-Store, Online And Physical Shopping Experiences Are Blending Like Never Before

[pullquote] “In-store and online shopping experiences can no longer be viewed independently." Matt Moog, CEO of PowerReviews [/pullquote]

The themes that much of this research points to parallels the same theme demonstrated at this year's Innovation Project 2015, where leaders across the payments ecosystem shared how payments, commerce and technology are converging in ways never seen before. The survey results shown above point to the same hard facts: Consumers are embracing technology across the retail and payments experience — but it's up to the innovators to ensure they are moving in the same direction as the consumers.

And that's where the industry has been moving.

“At the intersection of apps and enabling technologies, innovators and technologists are giving merchants and consumers creative new tools and options to engage, and doing it in a way that protects the integrity of their data, their privacy and preserves their confidence in transacting in a digital world,” MPD CEO Karen Webster said at the event held in March.

Months later, the research above shows that to be true now more than ever before. The in-store, online and mobile shopping experiences are blending together — colliding across the commerce ecosystem, and forcing retailers to invest in technology or be left behind. Some even conclude that this means embracing mobile and embracing wearables.

“In-store and online shopping experiences can no longer be viewed independently. They are interdependent parts of a unified strategy that considers the voice of the customer and user generated content, personalized information and offer delivery, and platforms that include mobile apps, mobile-optimized sites, and wearable technology," said Matt Moog, CEO of PowerReviews. "By providing consumers with hyper-relevant and authentic information, retailers will get more consumers into their physical and virtual stores, convert shoppers into customers, and create passionate brand advocates."

For any retailer, the emphasis is on that last part: "converting shoppers into customers." That's where wearable and mobile technology has the power to transform the customer shopping experience in a way that drives more sales for retailers.



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