How Wearable Tech Will Impact the Way We Shop

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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.