Over just a couple of years, smartwatches have covered a way from being a niche geeky gadget to becoming almost mainstream. And they definitely will become mainstream after Apple makes available a watch of its own, which is presumably going to happen later this month.
But even without the new player entering the stage, there are already more than two million smartwatches being used across the world, divided between Pebble, the industry pioneer, Android Wear, and a few proprietary platforms.
The way how smartwatches market is developing makes it crystal clear that these gadgets create a myriad of opportunities for businesses to seize. It probably will never be too late to get a smartwatch app, but the earlier you start, the bigger are your chances to make the most of the new industry.
The upcoming release of Apple Watch might be your chance to get exposure in media as one of the first businesses in a certain industry that has created an app for this platform. After Android Wear started making waves, there’s been quite a bunch of stories covering pioneering apps — like this one at The Next Web.
Moreover, at early stages smartwatch manufacturers tend to be willing to partner with app makers and work much more closely with them than, for example, smartphone vendors.
A year ago, the audience of smartwatches was rather homogeneous and consisted mostly of people of different degree of geekiness, willing to toy around with casually designed first-gen Pebble or first prototype-like Android Wear devices. A year later, there are all kinds of smartwatches for everyone, from a CEO to a top model, and from a hipster sitting in Starbucks to a marathon runner.
There’s still, however, something that all smartwatch owners have in common. All of them can still be called early adopters, people who study new technologies earlier than most and often become opinion shapers in their respective social demography. Sounds like people you’d like to have using your product or service, right?
That’s probably why, for example, PayPal is always trying to be among the first apps on all smartwatch platforms as its customers appear to be less conservative than most and adopt new technologies more willingly.
If you’re following announcements of new smartphone apps, you probably have noticed how many retailers of all kinds have jumped the bandwagon in the recent months.
Indeed, smartwatches can become a bigger sales channel when there are more people using them, but it seems like people are already more likely to order a pizza or a dress from their watch — just because it’s so cool!
The same goes for content projects like The Guardian, which keeps trying to engage readers with its app for Android Wear, which has been named among the best ones on the platform. Another great idea is GetTaxi’s Android Wear app in London: just imagine the futuristic feeling of looking at your watch and saying “Okay Google, call a car.”
This is yet another opportunity to seize with smartwatch apps: besides being a future-proof investment, it can attract customers thanks to the wow factor.
A great side effect of any mobile app developed for your business is that it lets you learn more about your customers. You can see when, where and for how long they use the app, understand the patterns and get valuable insights that allow to improve the experience.
With smartwatches, it’s all the same but multiplied by ten. Soon enough the screen of a smartwatch has all chances to become the main one, while the smartphone will spend most of the time laying on a desk or inside a pocket. This means that having a smartwatch app will allow you not only to keep in touch with your customers, but also deepen the knowledge about them.
In addition to that, the future “smartwatch-centric” customers are much more likely to prefer a brand or service that has presence in the app store of their respective platform.
Image credit: Kārlis Dambrāns / FlickrMarch 3, 2015