With so much hype and attention surrounding wearable technology at this year’s SXSW event, it’s apparent that leading tech makers are getting a real sense of what consumers are looking for and dreaming of when they consider their first smartwatch.
So what are the top priorities for prospective smartwatch purchasers?
A recent survey from ABI Research found that the vast majority of prospective smartwatch purchasers looked for text alerts, call alerts and caller ID as the most attractive features of a product.
According to the same data, however, one anomaly to this was related to the group that typically purchases watches in the $1,000 to $5,000 range. Consumers in this group identified voice command and control and also fashionable look and feel as the key factors that would influence a purchase decision. Typically voice control falls to the lower end of the scale of all other consumer groups.
“At present, smartwatch vendors are going for somewhat of a scattergun approach to smartwatch design,” says Stuart Carlaw, Chief Research Officer at ABI Research. “They are typically over delivering with 12 or more features per product and hoping that three of them stick. This recent research clearly shows that a more targeted, segmented and use-case driven approach to design is needed.”
Another interesting finding from the research was that desired pricing is very consistent across all groups. The largest group of respondents identified that they would likely pay $50-$200 for a smartwatch with the group of consumers that identified $200-$500 coming in second place.
“When you couple this price analysis with the price consumers usually spend on a regular watch, it is clear that there may be some opportunity to attract a premium for purchasers that traditionally buy cheaper watches,” Carlaw adds. “However, the opposite is true for those that typically spend upwards of $500 for a regular watch where smart features are generally not seen significant value-adds. The majority of consumers that spend over $1,000 for a regular watch indicated that their desired price point for a smartwatch was in the $50-$500 range.”