Opinion: Why retailers can benefit from wearable tech


The new Samsung Galaxy S5 – which focuses on simplicity and features a water resistant case and improved battery life – is not particularly inspiring on first glance for consumers. These features are standard fare from smartphone launches these days, but it is worth considering that the groups who will benefit most from the S5 are retailers and marketers.

It‘s not a shock to see this from Samsung who are reacting to product launches from Sony, who launched their own waterproof Xperia Z phone and the Apple iPhone 5s which has seen battery life widely criticised. Samsung has found its dominance in Europe being eroded by LG and Motorola and it needs a USP.

A couple of the S5 features do capture the imagination. Firstly the integration of an S Health 3 heart-rate sensor app could revolutionise the way products are advertised and marketed to consumers.

Consider the opportunity. People will tell their phone what their health aims are for the month, how much weight they‘d like to lose, how many steps they aim to take, and how much muscle they‘d like to gain, if any, and how they want to do it. It would make sense for these lifestyle aims to be reflected in products they see when they go online. Most people don‘t care what their heart rate is because they‘re too busy living life. They want technology to make relevant choices for them.

Using Galaxy Gear Fit to target consumers is definitely possible says Greg Hanson, Senior Director at data firm Informatica. “Why not have a digital store card? You could create a tailored menu in-store as one of the things that frustrates me is the constantly changing positions of products.”

It wouldn‘t make sense to advertise fast food or sugary drinks to someone who has told their phone they want to lose weight because it‘s highly likely they will switch off seeing the ads or even resent seeing them.

Being fit is the new rock and roll because it makes people feel one step ahead of others – and the best brands ensure their customers feel this way.

Health products at Holland & Barrett, grocers selling fish and fresh meat in the local area and the indie smoothie maker can all benefit from the influx of integrated fitness apps. Also, the local restaurant advertising two for one steaks on Saturday night would be regarded a real treat for someone on a month‘s mission to lose the pounds and could tempt users in on the weekend. Retailers could really jump on this.

Once the 30 day diet has been completed the person‘s most visited store could unveil a digital banner saying: “Well done for completing your 30 days. You‘ve lost 10lbs! Have a free coffee on us.”


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