Wearables Forecast for the Future of Retail

Wearables are an unfamiliar territory for some retailers.

The thought of tech-infused garments and accessories could be a new expenditure for the conventional brick-and-mortar brand, but the benefits are promising if handled with precaution.

“Technology and fashion are becoming closer aligned in every facit of our business,” Living In Digital Times founder Robin Raskin said at an NRF Big Show panel. “The tech side is ready to be fashionable.”

With store traffic on a decline and consumers pursuing e-tailers, retailers are struggling to boost their financial prosperity. Wearables could be the answer to foster interest on the sales floor. If apparel, for example, has the ability to detect heart rate or sleep patterns, shoppers are more likely to engage with that item over a standard product.

“Every single product you have is going to have some kind of functionality,” Smart Women Smart Ideas (SWSI) founder Heidi Lehmann said at the show. She added, “In the health space, the good news is that some of these devices are telling us more about ourselves but it also means it is collecting more data.”

Does the functionality come with a price? Yes, in some cases. If retailers are selling wearables it is likely that data involved is often publicly accessible. Retailers may want to explore privacy concerns more before venturing into wearable tech products. Although consumers may favor a wearable technology product, they may not be clear about the public information risks involved. Before jumping on the wearables bandwagon, retailers need to determine how shoppers’ information will be managed.

As traditional commerce gives way to digital practices, retailers are also challenged with the task of aligning in-store and online experiences. Wearables could bridge the gap between both mediums, because they incorporate digital aspects into consumers’ lifestyles.

“We have a passionate belief that every physical thing around us in our lives will come to shape in a digital form,”Everythng co-founder and chief marketing officer Andy Hobsbawm said at a presentation. He then asked, “How does this happen in a way that is profitable for businesses and brands and creates fabulous experiences for consumers?”

Evrythng is a popular IoT smart products platform that provides retailers’ products with smart capabilities. This fall, the platform teamed up with designer Rochambeau to create smart jackets. A custom NFC chip and personalized QR code come in the left sleeve of each jacket. With smartphones, consumers can use their jacket to access curated experiences.

As shown with Everythng and Rochambeau’s jacket, wearables could bring great prosperity to retailers. Technology is no longer a myth in apparel. Despite privacy remaining an issue, wearables are retailer’s gateway to better sales and consumer loyalty in the future.


Recent News

Retail Roundup: Target Hits Snooze, Amazon and Warby Parker Test New Models

Print PDFPrint PDFWhen times are tough, companies are more willing to test new ideas and Target, Warby Parker and Amazon are pushing the boundaries of traditional retail. Target gets in bed with Casper After failed attempts at an acquisition, Target has instead invested in Casper...

This content is for Annual, Monthly and Limited members only. You can read up to five free articles each month with a Limited Level Subscription. Please log in, or register.
Log In Register
Read more

J.Crew to Get Cheaper as Drexler Admits to Missing the Mark

J.Crew has been shifting in its seat trying to adjust to a new normal of shrinking sales and growing debt, but nothing has quite yet paid off, so the company is cutting its prices.

This content is for Annual, Monthly and Limited members only. You can read up to five free articles each month with a Limited Level Subscription. Please log in, or register.
Log In Register
Read more

Around the Web: Kid’s Apparel, Bankruptcy Comebacks and “Made in China’s” New Face

This week, consumers called for better children's apparel, retailers turned internally to remedy their financial woes and apparel incubators improved China's manufacturing sector.

This content is for Annual, Monthly and Limited members only. You can read up to five free articles each month with a Limited Level Subscription. Please log in, or register.
Log In Register
Read more

Infographic: What do Consumers Really Think About Sustainability Anyway?

Whether and how much consumers care about sustainability may be an ongoing question the industry wants an answer for, but one thing that’s clear is that though some consumers do care, sustainability isn’t the first thing they think of.

This content is for Annual, Monthly and Limited members only. You can read up to five free articles each month with a Limited Level Subscription. Please log in, or register.
Log In Register
Read more

Shuffle Board: Gymboree Taps Former Tilly’s Exec as CEO, J.C. Penney Hires New EVP, Wolford Creative Director Exits

Gymboree tapped former Tilly's executive Daniel Griesemer as its new CEO, JC Penney appointed Marci Grebstein as its new EVP and Wolford creative director Grit Seymour is leaving the company.

This content is for Annual, Monthly and Limited members only. You can read up to five free articles each month with a Limited Level Subscription. Please log in, or register.
Log In Register
Read more