A survey of over 1,000 people shows consumer interest in smartwatches in Australia is high, with 51.8 per cent indicating they would like to own one in the future, although 71.4 per cent of Australians were concerned about the current cost of devices, which could delay their purchase.
Alarmingly for marketers considering smartwatches as a new platform to further brand, or raise product awareness, 61.2 per cent of Australians state they would like to block (be that selectively or entirely) any advertisements that could appear on their smartwatch; although 13.3 per cent of people would be open to proximity / location based offers from local merchants. This aversion to receiving advertisements on their smartwatches contrasts with American survey respondents where 71 per cent of people would be open to at least some form of advertising on their device.
The survey, undertaken by Kentico Software, provider of an all-in-one CMS, E-Commerce, and Online Marketing Platform, showed of those Australians interested in purchasing a smartwatch, 74.1 per cent of people plan on using a Smartwatch for personal, not business use – with only 2.3 per cent of people indicating they would use a Smartwatch primarily for business purposes.
The second most popular smartwatch feature for Australian consumers, after ‘sending and receiving email and texts’ was actually ‘tracking diet and exercise’ with 36.9 per cent of all survey participants saying this feature was of most interest to them. This compared to only 18.9 per cent of Europeans saying the diet and exercise functions were key to their interest in smartwatches.
“That ‘tracking diet and exercise’ is perceived to be one of the most popular smartwatch features to Australians, and interest in using the devices for businesses purposes is so low, shows how local consumers view the smartwatches as a lifestyle tool with different capabilities and advantages compared to other advanced communication tools like smartphones,” said Wayne Jasek, director of APAC Operations for Kentico Software.
“Businesses looking to market themselves to consumers via smartwatches will also need to ensure their activities are targeted and meaningful given the reluctance of Australians to receive adverts on these devices.”
Key smartwatch features of interest to Australian consumers were:
- Sending and receiving email, texts: 42.4 per cent
- Tracking diet and exercise: 36.9 per cent
- Placing and receiving phone and video calls: 35.3 per cent
- Getting walking, driving, or mass transit directions: 32.9 per cent
- Real-time alerts such as those from your airline or bank: 24.3 per cent
- Safety monitoring (Senior citizens, children, pets): 21.2 per cent
Surprisingly, the survey also showed that despite mass awareness of, and some direct exposure to, smartwatches – 34.1 per cent of Australians know someone that owns one – only 8.2 per cent of Australians say they have a good understanding of a smartwatch’s uses; compared to 23.2 per cent of Americans who said that they knew ‘a lot’ about a smartwatch’s features.
“While Australians are renowned for being early adopters of new technologies, it is surprising that only 8.2 per cent of people say that they have a good understanding of a smartwatch’s uses. This shows that manufacturers and retailers need to refine their own marketing efforts to better educate the public around what makes a smartwatch an essential technology,” added Jasek.