Wearable tech poses “big challenge” for traditional retailers as shoppers shun high street to buy online, according to YouGov research
Traditional bricks and mortar retailers are facing a “big challenge” with wearables as research from YouGov found that three times as many wearables owners bought their devices online than in retail stores.
62 per cent of wearable owners in a poll of more than 2,000 people said they bought their device online, compared with 22 per cent in traditional retail stores.
YouGov’s Wearables Tracker found that Amazon was the biggest purchase destination for wearable tech with 31 per cent of the market, compared with direct from the manufacturers (11 per cent), John Lewis (five per cent) eBay (five per cent) and Curry’s/PC World (three per cent).
The research, carried out in February, found that 72 per cent of those who currently owned a wearable had done research before buying it, but just 16 per cent of those had gone in to a retail store to do their research.
YouGov director Russell Feldman said: “Wearable technologies are an odd beast in that they are both high-tech versions of existing wares and also an emerging distinct category.
“As wearables increase their scope to include the likes of rings, jewellery and accessories, retailers will have to answer a simple question: where should they put them in the shop? Do smartwatches sit along consumer technology or alongside the timepieces? Do fitness bands go in the sports section or in a special wearables one?
“Unless these questions can be answered definitively and in a unified way across retailers, consumers could end up shunning bricks and mortar retailers out of sheer confusion.”