Kentico Survey Says: Interest in Smartwatches is on the Rise

Over two and half years ago, I wrote that wearables would be the next "disruptive innovation" but acknowledged we're not there yet. Once the right company with the right design comes along, this new market will take off just as fast as when Apple introduced their first iPad. Despite Apple introducing their smartwatch, I still sit on the sidelines waiting for the right wearable to convince me the time to buy one is now. According to the findings from a recent survey unveiled by Kentico, I'm not alone.

Despite the media hype and some direct exposure to the smartwatch (44% report knowing someone who already wears one), only 23% claim to know a lot about the device. This lack of information may be combining with the smartwatch’s high cost to contribute to somewhat disappointing sales so far. Three quarters of those surveyed did in fact blame cost while a third cited no compelling reason to buy one. On the upside though, many experts predict an increase in adoption as consumers learn more about them and see more people wearing them. There are some additional and interesting findings in Kentico's report that may be of interest to the content and marketing folks.

Email, Texting, Phone Calls, and Alerts Top the List of Smartwatch Must-Haves

When presented with a list of possible smartwatch capabilities…

  • Nearly half of those surveyed (46%) cited the ability to email and text without having to pull out their cell phone as the most intriguing

  • More than one third of those surveyed (38%) favored making voice and video calls

  • One third of those surveyed most liked the idea of getting directions, tracking diet and fitness, voice activated searches, and real-time alerts from an airline, bank or social network

Smartwatch Ads: OK within Reason

As sales rise, the smartwatch will present digital marketers with yet another way to reach consumers: 71% of those surveyed believe they will be okay with at least some advertising served up on the smartwatch; 23% say they would prefer limiting messages to a list of pre-approved advertisers; while 10% say they would be open to receiving location-based ads when their presence is detected by a nearby store, restaurant, or coffee shop.

Try Before You Buy

In a show of strong consumer interest, 87% of those people participating in the survey said they would be receptive to the idea of test driving a smartwatch in order to experience it for themselves. Surprisingly, 70% believe their use of a smartwatch will be limited to personal use while 29% believe it could assist them both personally and professionally. Only 1% of those surveyed view the smartwatch as a workplace-only device.

The Next Battleground for Digital Marketers?

“In my view, three things need to happen in order for the widespread adoption of smartwatches to take place,” said Kentico Founder and CEO Petr Palas. “First, smartwatch makers are going to have to do a much better job in selling the technology and convincing people of the utility and convenience of owning one. Too many people simply don’t have a compelling reason to go out and buy a smartwatch today. Second, WCM and online marketing software makers are going to have to fine-tune their products to address the smartwatch’s tiny yet very important piece of screen real estate. And third, retailers and other vendors need to find new and clever ways to deliver marketing messages to smartwatches. That being said, there is no doubt in my mind that the smartwatch represents a unique opportunity for digital marketers.”

About this Research Study

547 US Internet users 18 years old and over participated in Kentico’s Smartwatch Survey, conducted online during the month of December 2015. Survey data was also collected for Europe (UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, & Czech Republic) as well as Australia. The complete survey encompassed more than 1000 consumers around the globe.

About Kentico

Kentico is an all-in-one CMS, E-commerce, and Online Marketing platform that drives business results for companies of all sizes both on-premise or in the cloud. It gives customers and partners powerful, comprehensive tools and customer-centric solutions to create stunning websites and manage customer experiences easily in a dynamic business environment. The Kentico Web Content Management Solution‘s rich selection of out-of-the-box web parts, easy customizations, and open API quickly gets websites operational. When combined with the full set of integrated solutions, including Online Marketing, E-commerce, Online Communities, and Intranet and Collaboration, Kentico fully optimizes the digital customer experience across multiple channels.

Source: Kentico press release