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Wearable Technology: Is It the Future of E-Commerce?


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Inspired by the latest news from this year’s inaugural Apple Conference, SaleCycle’s Chris Wilson considers the impact that wearable technology could have on the future of e-commerce and whether we’re looking at more unwanted Christmas presents or the next big thing… 
The concept of Smartwatches and Smartglasses will be pretty familiar to the tech savvy consumers in this day and age, but the true potential of these technologies has not been fully discovered yet.
Out of the various developing technologies there are at the moment, wearable technologies are the ones that could present the largest opportunity for e-commerce. It’s important then that we keep an eye on their success in the market, and at the earliest sign of these technologies becoming as popular as Smartphones, websites will need to be ready to be optimised in order to be fully accessible to the customer.

What’s next for Email Design?

Emails can be viewed on both Smartwatches and Google Glass, so not only will websites need to be Smartwatch/Glasses ready, but services like our own will need to be ready to have optimised email designs that will fit these displays naturally.
We have already done it with Mobile and Tablets, yet the idea of optimising an abandonment email for a significantly smaller display will pose a completely new challenge to us. One thing is for certain though, these emails will have to be thoroughly experimented with in order for the emails to become fully optimised.

Desktop, Mobile, What's next for email design?
Desktop, Mobile, What’s next for email design?

The interesting question will be what content will we need to prioritise? The techniques we use to persuade a customer to convert will need to completely change for this format. With such a small display, the information will need to be carefully selected in order to ensure that the customer is enticed to click on the email.
Will we see less focus on copy, and more emphasis on the basket to ensure the important information stays above the fold? Or will we see more attention given to the copy in order to lure the customer to complete their purchase?

The Options are Endless

Could we see integration with other services, such as the Spritz app? This new method of reading flashes words at us at a speed selected by the reader and is supposed to make reading faster. This could solve the issue of content within the email, and is an example of something that could be tested within a campaign.
Of course, there are also new techniques we could also try. We could make use of voice searching, with emails potentially split up into sections that we could ask to be shown. Saying ‘Basket’ could bring us the basket details to scroll through, and then asking for ‘Recommended Items’ could then show us the product recommendations from our templates. Maybe it would even be also possible to have QR codes that sat in the template which could be scanned in-store to reveal discounts or promotions.

Seeing Is Believing!

Smart Glasses have even further potential to be effective in e-commerce with the use of augmented reality. We know that eye movements can be tracked (Google has a patent on pay-per-gaze which will be able to track which adverts we take notice of and which we don’t) so one can imagine the potential.
You or I could walk into a store, browse through the items we like and then tell our Smart Glasses to email us a link to the items we’ve been looking at for further review at home. It’s both an exciting and pretty scary concept, but one that might not be all that far away.

Abandonment email's via Google Glass?
Abandonment email’s via Google Glass?

Evidently, these are all just ideas, and what we could end up with will probably be completely different from what I have suggested. One thing is for certain however, as these products become more popular remarketing solutions like our own will need to adapt to incorporate them.
It’s an exciting time ahead and the Smartwatch is going straight on to my christmas list, that’s for sure.

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