With the debut of the Apple Watch, it seems like everyone has been buzzing about the possibilities of wearable technology. Wearable devices are already helping people track their steps and fitness habits and manage notifications, texts and phone calls. But at PowerReviews, we wanted to know how wearable tech would impact the future of shopping.

We surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. consumers, and conducted a similar study in the UK, to look at how we’re currently using technology to shop and how wearable tech will impact our shopping behaviors.

We Crave Connection
Thanks to technology, there are more ways than ever to interact with retailers. Ninety-one percent of shoppers are already using technology to help make purchase decisions and more than 21% are open to using new technologies, such as smartwatches, to help with purchase decisions.

We Want Wearable Tech to Make Life Easier
And this includes shopping. People are excited about wearable tech. Almost a third of respondents either already own a wearable device or plan to buy one in the next 12 months. And for 34 percent of consumers want a wearable device to make their life easier.

We’re already seeing wearable tech bring convenience to the shopping experience with the Apple Watch and Jawbone UP24 fitness tracker enabling shoppers to make payments with a tap of the wrist. According to our study, 22 percent of shoppers are interested in making touchless or one-click payments from their wearable devices and 20 percent are interested in using interactive maps displayed on a wearable device to navigate within a store.

We want in-store reviews and hyper-relevant information
According to our research, shoppers want to access the ratings and reviews used to make purchase decisions online when shopping in stores. Seventy percent of respondents were interested in accessing product ratings and reviews while in store.

Most shoppers, 90 percent, are already turning to their mobile phones to help make purchase decisions while in store. And technologies such as beacons and near-field communication are emerging as vehicles for retailers to deliver the context-driven, relevant info shoppers seek directly to these devices.

SKECHERS, a leading global brand in the lifestyle footwear industry, designs, develops and markets lifestyle footwear that appeals to men, women and children of all ages. A two-billion-dollar-plus company, SKECHERS’ global success stems from its ability to offer customers a high-quality shopping experience regardless of the channel.

By adding Social Answers to their site, SKECHERS achieved:

  • 80% Open rate of answer notification email
  • 32% Conversion increase for products with Q&A
  • 51% Conversion rate from answer notification email

PowerReviews Releases Study on the Impact of Mobile and Wearable Technology on Consumer Shopping Behaviour

  • 45% of current smartphone users either own or plan to buy a wearable device within the next 12 months.
  • Almost 90% of shoppers are using technology to help them shop.
  • 80% of consumers are interested in accessing product ratings and reviews while in store.

May 12, 2015 – LONDON – PowerReviews, the company powering ratings, reviews and Q&A technology for more than 1,000 global brands and retailers, has released a new study that analyses how mobile and wearable technology are impacting consumer expectations.

Surveying more than 1,000 smartphone users in the UK, and conducting a similar study in the U.S., the PowerReviews study, Retail Revolution: How mobile and wearable technology is transforming UK consumer behaviour and retail opportunities”, explores the impact of technology on shopping behaviour and outlines what retailers need to consider to meet these changing demands.

Among the findings of PowerReviews’ study:

Wearable tech will drive shopping efficiency
65% of shoppers would like technology such as smart watches to enhance their shopping experience.

A third of shoppers would like their favourite stores to alert them to long queues so they know to come back later.

27% want retailers to enable one-click payments through a wearable device.

Over a quarter would like reminders of special events, such as birthdays, holidays and anniversaries, when already out shopping.

A quarter of both men and women would like wearable tech to notify retailers they are having a down day and to send them discounts or offers to perk them up.

Consumers are excited about wearable technology, primarily because they believe this technology will make their lives easier, especially when it comes to shopping. Shoppers are interested in a variety of ways wearable technology can make shopping, especially in-store, more efficient.

Consumers want connection

  • 88% of shoppers are already using technology to make purchase decisions.
  • 60% now use their phone or tablet to research competitor products or services online before making a purchase and 45% surf a store’s website via their mobile phone to access reviews while shopping in-store.

Of those who already own a wearable device, 34% use it for shopping, and 29% of those who plan to buy a wearable device in the next 12 months want the technology to help them shop.

Interactions between shoppers and retailers are no longer linear as technology has rewritten the consumer behaviour and with it, the retail landscape. Most shoppers are already using technology to help make purchase decisions and many are open to new technologies that can enhance their in-store shopping experiences.

While new technologies continue to make the path to purchase more complex by increasing the ways in which shoppers and retailers interact, they also create opportunities for retailers to deliver more targeted, context-driven product information, making their message much more effective.

Shoppers want in-store reviews and hyper-relevant information
35% of shoppers would be open to being sent push notifications containing information about products, discounts, or product reviews, as long as it helps them make the right purchase decision, saves money or helps enhance the overall shopping experience.

Shoppers want ratings and reviews available when shopping online also available in stores and as a result, many shoppers have turned to their mobile devices. Beacons have emerged as a tool for retailers to deliver context-driven, relevant information straight to a shopper’s phone. Compared to the U.S., consumers in the UK are a lot more open to beacon technology (16% vs 35%), but there is still a need for retailers to demonstrate the value in these communications.

“In-store and online shopping experiences can no longer be viewed independently. Today’s consumers want access to ratings, reviews and other product information

whenever and wherever they’re making purchase decisions – whether online, via mobile device or in store” said Matt Moog, CEO of PowerReviews.

“Technologies like wearables, near-field communication and beacons are creating more ways for retailers to deliver this hyper-relevant and authentic information to shoppers, which will enhance the shopping experience, drive sales and create passionate brand advocates.”

Notes to Editors

About PowerReviews
PowerReviews is the choice of 1,000 global brands and retailers to collect and display ratings and reviews on 5,000 websites. An essential resource for consumers as they search and shop online and in-store, ratings and reviews drive relevant traffic, increase sales, and create actionable insights to improve products and services. PowerReviews’ mobile-friendly rating and review and Q&A software is fast to implement and simple to customize, making it easy for brands and retailers to generate more authentic content that is seen by more consumers. The PowerReviews Open Syndication Network is the largest in the industry, reaching 2,500 retailers and more than 700 million in-market shoppers every month, giving retailers and brands the power to reach shoppers wherever they are.  For more information, visit www.powerreviews.com.

Media contacts:
Sharon Flaherty – 07951 327 364 – sharon@brandcontent.co.uk
Rachel Davies – 07966 023 136 – rachel.davies@brandcontent.uk

About the Survey
Research carried out by PowerReviews amongst 1,071 UK consumers who use a smartphone between 1st and 2nd April 2015.


With the release of the Apple Watch and the confluent rise of mobile device use in-store, retailers are beginning to think long and hard about in-store technology. In my last blog post, I discussed the importance of reviews as part of the in-store experience. Ratings and reviews provide authentic, quality content and give consumers confidence when buying, even in-store.

Reviews for the in-store shopper

Recently, Toys R’ Us added ratings and reviews to their baby registry scanners. Consumers use the registry scanner to scan the UPC codes on the products they want to add to their gift registry. When the product is collected by the scanner, the consumer can select to see product reviews both before and after adding the product to the registry list.  When I heard about this addition to the Toys R’ Us shopping experience, I put myself in the shoes of those moms and dads-to-be who are making a baby registry for the first time and have little knowledge when it comes to baby products. Ratings and reviews, especially in this instance, provide additional insight into the products and makes the process easier and less stressful. If I were in this position, however, I’d likely have a ton of specific questions about the products. This made me think, Q&A would be a great supplement to ratings and reviews during the in-store experience.

While a baby registry made me think of this relationship, Q&A capabilities can further enhance the shopping experience and complement in-store ratings and reviews for any retailer. Q&A gives curious shoppers an opportunity to ask specific questions that might not have been discussed in the reviews.

With this in mind, here are 4 reasons Questions and Answers should supplement Ratings and Reviews in-store:

1.) Your consumers are already engaged if they are asking a question.

Consumers who have specific questions about a product are already interested in buying, especially if they are in-store.   In fact, Skechers’ eCommerce Merchandising Manager said: “Because those who submit questions are already engaged, if we can give them the answers they want in a timely fashion, they usually buy the shoe.” Once consumers receive an answer to their question, they’re ready to buy.

While consulting ratings and reviews is on the top of consumers’ to-do list–even while in-store– potential buyers still end up having a few questions they would like answered before jumping into a purchase.  Q&A capabilities give specific answers to consumers’ specific questions, which may not have been discussed in the reviews and provides buyers with the little boost of confidence they may need to purchase a product.  Answering questions while a potential buyer shops in-store lowers their chances of walking out of the store empty handed or waiting until they go home to buy the product online.

2.) Give your consumers several information sources.
With the addition of an in-store Q&A feature, consumers will have an additional information resource.  On busy weekends or holiday shopping days, sales associates are not always readily available to answer consumers’ questions.  The integration of Q&A gives consumers the ability to ask their questions and receive answers via their mobile device without the hassle of hunting down a store employee who may not even be able to provide the answer.

Using multiple answer sources for Q&A also enables your potential buyers to hear from real Product Owners or Subject Matter Experts within your company.

3.) As you receive questions, a virtual FAQ is created.
One of the biggest caveats to a Q&A functionality for in-store use is answer time.  While an answer in 24 hours is acceptable while shopping online, in-store answers need to be within minutes.  With the use of multiple answer sources like Asking Subject Matter Experts, Product Owners, or using an On-Demand Answer Community, quick turnover on questions asked is entirely possible.

As questions are asked and answered, an FAQ begins to be created on the product page.  With the presence of the FAQ, questions will not be asked twice and consumers will have access to a number of previously asked questions and their answers, providing more useful content during the shopping experience and lessening the burden on your answer sources.

4.) Capture more quality content.
Q&A capabilities will not only further engage your customers in-store, it will also increase your site’s SEO value.  The questions asked and the answers given on your site become permanent assets on the product page, making your site more relevant, useful and fresh–all characteristics Google looks for when ranking page sites.

Q&A provides an additional capability to enhance the shopping experience when coupled with ratings and reviews integration.  Q&A can help retailers cover all bases during the in-store buying experience and ensure that consumers are receiving all of the necessary information prior to a purchase.

Kaitlyn Carpenter

Kaitlyn is the Associate Product Marketing Manager at PowerReviews. She recently graduated from the University of Chicago, where she studied Political Science and Germanic Studies. After years of assigned reading, she is excited to finally choose the books she picks up.