Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Retailers: The next big thing you must know about wearable devices

Retailer managers, how much do you know about your customers? Do you think you know your targeted consumers much better than these smart wearable devices such as Fitbit and Apple watch? The answer might be “NO”.  Smart wearable device companies no longer only profit from their end users,  but could also make huge profit from marketers since they know consumers much better than marketers. As a graduate student at Northwestern University Medill’s  Integrated Marketing Communication program, I am here to introduce your some enlightening points regarding smart wearable devices for marketers.

Nancy Gohring wrote an article called This Company saved $300k on insurance by giving employees Fitbits, which briefly introduced that how a company named as Appirio saved a lot of money on employee insurances by letting its employees wear Fitbit.  This article gives a great example how to use a B2C products to produce B2B profits, giving employees Fitbit not only created an intimate relationship between employer and employee, but it also helped it company understand their employee’s fitness condition in addition of saving company’s insurance cost. Meanwhile, by creating a company wide Fitbit community, it encourages its employees to work out harder and be more fit, which would be a big support for creating good company culture.

Glenn Taylor, author of Trend Watch: Bringing the Mobile Retailing Experience In-Store with Beacon Technology, made a great introduction toward beacon usage and function.  Beacon are hard device that could communicate and transmit data to mobile devices. Marketers typically use them to send push notifications to their consumers, in order to convince consumers to purchase their products. Many devices/apps have been used as signal receivers for beacon, such as Paypal, and Shopkick.

After reviewing these two articles and my experiences in both marketing and high tech. I would recommend following to marketers and smart wearable devices companies.

  1. Smart wearable beacon - More and more people are using smart wearable devices on their daily lives, therefore, there is a huge population that could be marketer’s potential customers if they can push correct information to smart wearable devices users.

  1. Comprehensive user profile - Smart wearable devices collect and analyze their user’s data, and have a very comprehensive profile for them. It could be very beneficial for marketers to understand their customer and make correct marketing strategies if these data used for segmentation and market planning.

  1. Consumer privacy - Privacy is always what consumers are concerned about, if marketers could also guarantee a privacy protection for their consumers by profiling them, it will be a huge plus for them among competition.

Smart wearable device users population are keep increasing, and most devices are equipped with Bluetooth technology. Therefore, I would believe it will be a bright future to combine smart wearable devices with analytic to provide a comprehensive and insightful analysis for customers since it will greatly help marketers to develop strategies to lift sales.

Danny Li is a marketing professional who has broad knowledge about high tech, and digital marketing.  He is also a heavy smart wearable devices users including Fitbit. He currently studying at Northwestern University for M.S. of Integrated Marketing Communication. . Connect with him on Twitter (@yanglidanny) and LinkedIn.

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