Wearable Technology Industry Analysis

Introduction


Wearable Technology is an amazing product category with huge potential to capture the needs of consumers. Throughout history there have been a multitude of inventions each paving the way for the next. There are a variety of uses for these products. With each invention there are new ways to help and improve people's lives. This interactive website will give a look into the past and the future for this market in order to better understand wearable technology.

A Brief Timeline of Wearable Technology


Examples of recent wearable devices


(click on the products to learn more about them)
google glass
hexoskinshirt
applewatch
ring
graphic footpads
bluetoothset
solarpaneljacket
fitbitwatch

The Market and types of consumers


The primary consumer segment for wearable technology are currently early adopters. Even though the early adopters seem to be catching on to these products, they are quickly abandoning them. Most consumers within this category used the products for a short amount of time and then stopped using them. According to a research study from Endeavor Partners, one third of Americans who purchased a wearable device stopped using it within six months after purchasing. Another important distinction between consumers is the target markets within each segment. In the early adopters segment the target market is most likely people between the ages of 18-35 who are either tech savvy or athletic. Due to the characteristics of this target market, certain aspects of wearable devices will prove more useful and important to these consumers than others.

Consumer concerns--Price


Price is a critical point in a consumer’s purchase decision especially with high involvement decisions such as buying expensive technology. The price of most wearable devices ranges between one hundred and four hundred dollars. Research has shown that the majority of potential buyers feel comfortable purchasing a wearable device for around two or three hundred dollars. The average price for wearable devices is above what most consumers are willing to pay at $370. In an online survey conducted including 62 sample respondents, 41% of participants stated that price was the most important purchase influence for them when choosing from utility, price, concept, or appearance. Since there are a large amount of consumers who are price sensitive to this type of product, brands should lower their prices or offer cheaper alternatives in order to stretch their reach to the innovator and early majority market segments.

Prices for Wearable Technology

graph of prices

Consumer concerns-utility


Consumers are convinced that these products only have fitness or small technical uses. Marketers should change this by repositioning their products in consumers’ minds. Advertising can be used to promote all of the different uses for a product that most consumers wouldn’t have known about. The second way to change consumers’ beliefs about the product is to change the actual attributes of the products, creating more usage situations for consumers. In the survey conducted with 62 respondents, participants chose what influences their purchase decision of wearable technology the most. The results show that 48% of the participants chose utility as the most important purchase decision factor when choosing from price, utility, concept, or appearance. Since utility is the most important decision factor for consumers it is important to understand what consumers are looking to use these products for or what will increase their practicality. Consumers want more sensors in wearable devices along with comfort and more computing power. Consumers have also stressed their concern about the connection between a wearable device and a smart phone. A common need amongst consumers is the potential for cellular capabilities in wearable devices so that a smart phone does not have to be in the same vicinity, furthering the usage of the wearable device.

Consumer concerns-Appearance


Fashion and appearance is another concern for consumers when making a purchase decision. Consumers are concerned with what wearing a product might say about them as well as the physical appearance of a device on their wrist or clothes. Consumers will only buy products that align with how they want to be perceived by others. For example, a person who is wearing a Samsung Gear watch could be perceived by their peers as someone who enjoys technology or doesn’t have a strong sense of fashion. Another example is someone who is wearing a Google Glass. The person wearing the Google Glass will most likely be interpreted as someone who is wealthy, interested in technology, and sophisticated. Products are simply extensions of oneself, which is why it is so important for wearable devices to become more fashionable products.

The Conclusion


There are a few solutions to help this market along and to become more popular in consumer electronics. The first solution is to decrease the price unless utility functions increase because the products do not have enough functions to be worth the amount they are currently set at. This solution also depends on each company’s individual pricing strategy. The second solution is to increase the utility of the products. A huge concern for consumers is that they feel like they won’t use it and a third of consumers who have purchased don’t use the technology anymore. The third solution is to enhance the physical appearance of the devices. Wearable technology should be customizable to different people’s personal style. Apple has excelled with enhancing physical appeal; by making the Apple Watch customizable with different style wristbands increases its physical appeal. In conclusion, wearable technology companies need to focus on decreases in price, increases in usage and capabilities, and enhancing physical appearances.

Full version of the Market Evaluation


Click here to download the pdf version of this information