Kentico US Survey: Despite Challenges, Consumer Interest in Smartwatches is on the Rise

Nearly 60% Plan to Eventually Own but Cost and Unclear Need Slow Adoption of the Wearables

Bedford, New Hampshire – February 2, 2016 – Kentico Software, provider of an all-in-one CMS, E-commerce, and Online Marketing platform, today unveiled the findings from a survey of web users that shows while consumer interest in smartwatches is high (nearly 60% would like to eventually own one—36% within the next year), their relatively high cost and an unclear need dampen the desire to immediately adopt. Be sure to view both the research paper and infographic.

Despite the media hype and some direct exposure to the smartwatch (44% report knowing someone who already wears one), only 23% claim to know a lot about the device. This lack of information may be combining with the smartwatch’s high cost to contribute to somewhat disappointing sales so far. Three quarters of those surveyed did in fact blame cost while a third cited no compelling reason to buy one, though many experts predict an increase in adoption as consumers learn more about them and see more people wearing them.

Email, Texting, Phone Calls, and Alerts Top the List of Smartwatch Must-Haves

When presented with a list of possible smartwatch capabilities…

Nearly half of those surveyed (46%) cited the ability to email and text without having to pull out their cell phone as the most intriguing
More than one third of those surveyed (38%) favored making voice and video calls
One third of those surveyed most liked the idea of getting directions, tracking diet and fitness, voice activated searches, and real-time alerts from an airline, bank or social network

Smartwatch Ads: OK within Reason

As sales rise, the smartwatch will present digital marketers with yet another way to reach consumers: 71% of those surveyed believe they will be okay with at least some advertising served up on the smartwatch; 23% say they would prefer limiting messages to a list of pre-approved advertisers; while 10% say they would be open to receiving location-based ads when their presence is detected by a nearby store, restaurant, or coffee shop.  

Try Before You Buy

In a show of strong consumer interest, 87% of those people participating in the survey said they would be receptive to the idea of test driving a smartwatch in order to experience it for themselves. Surprisingly, 70% believe their use of a smartwatch will be limited to personal use while 29% believe it could assist them both personally and professionally. Only 1% of those surveyed view the smartwatch as a workplace-only device.

The Next Battleground for Digital Marketers?

“In my view, three things need to happen in order for the widespread adoption of smartwatches to take place,” said Kentico Founder and CEO Petr Palas. “First, smartwatch makers are going to have to do a much better job in selling the technology and convincing people of the utility and convenience of owning one. Too many people simply don’t have a compelling reason to go out and buy a smartwatch today. Second, WCM and online marketing software makers are going to have to fine-tune their products to address the smartwatch’s tiny yet very important piece of screen real estate. And third, retailers and other vendors need to find new and clever ways to deliver marketing messages to smartwatches. That being said, there is no doubt in my mind that the smartwatch represents a unique opportunity for digital marketers.”

Kentico’s Smartwatch Survey is the 10th installment of an ongoing Kentico Digital Experience Research series that was kicked off in 2013 with the Customer Experience Survey and continued with the Kentico Mobile Experience Survey, Email Marketing Survey, Website Marketing Survey, Digital Brand Interactions Survey, Content Marketing Survey, Non-Profit Online Donors Survey, New Year's Resolutions Survey, and Healthcare Websites Survey.

About this Research Study

547 US Internet users 18 years old and over participated in Kentico’s Smartwatch Survey, conducted online during the month of December 2015. Survey data was also collected for Europe (UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, & Czech Republic) as well as Australia. The complete survey encompassed more than 1000 consumers around the globe.

About Kentico

Kentico is an all-in-one CMS, E-commerce, and Online Marketing platform that drives business results for companies of all sizes both on-premise or in the cloud. It gives customers and partners powerful, comprehensive tools and customer-centric solutions to create stunning websites and manage customer experiences easily in a dynamic business environment. The Kentico Web Content Management Solution‘s rich selection of out-of-the-box web parts, easy customizations, and open API quickly gets websites operational. When combined with the full set of integrated solutions, including Online Marketing, E-commerce, Online Communities, and Intranet and Collaboration, Kentico fully optimizes the digital customer experience across multiple channels.

Founded in 2004, Kentico is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner headquartered in the Czech Republic with offices in the US, UK, Netherlands, and Australia. Kentico has 1,000 digital agency partners and powers more than 25,000 websites across 100 countries. Customers include Gibson, Twinings, Ingram Micro, Mazda, Kingspan, Hunter Fan, Starbucks, and Allergan.

All product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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