The increasing amount of data collected from connected devices, both on our person and in our homes, is leading to a wearables and CX revolution.
There is a booming market in wearable tech, with many people now owning fitness and wellness trackers.
In fact, Forbes noted that the wearables market exceeded $2 billion (£1.5bn) in 2015, rising to $3 billion in 2016 and looks set to reach and pass $4 billion this year. Sales of smartwatches are estimated to account for 70 percent of the wearables market by 2019.
The smarter watch
Devices such as those from Fitbit and Apple have been leading the market for a few years now and track nearly every activity their wearers undertake – be it sports and exercise, steps, heart rate, diet, hydration and even sleep quality. As the level of technology increases in these devices, so does the ability to measure more complex human states. Apple Watch now also encourages the wearer to relax and “breathe”. One can only assume that this level of focus on personal wellbeing will increase and that the data gleaned from the user will become a new area of focus for a number of potentially explosive market opportunities.
The connected home
Smart, voice-enabled home devices such as Amazon’s Echo or Google Home are also becoming an increasingly common sight. Techcrunch and eMarketer show that Amazon now controls more than 70 percent of this market, with Google sat at about 24 percent. The same research predicts that more than 35 million Americans will use voice-activated devices of this type in 2017 alone. This allows the makers of such devices to gather a vast amount of personal information about the users and their home environment, in turn making it easier to plan for and market to their every need. This is not limited to specific requests from the user for a product or service, but is more to do with making suggestions for purchases based on data.
Wearables and CX – the emotional selling evolution
Combining these devices seems like the next logical step in the evolution of the wearable and connected ecosystem. Imagine that your home hub is connected to your wearable device and they are sharing information about your health and wellbeing back and forth. Sounds great and could have potential for areas such as early warning or emergency health response, but there could also be issues. It is not hard to imagine your home hub starting to review your wellness data and beginning to suggest products that will help with mood or even cheer you up. Companies could also use such advances to enhance their social responsibility status. Customers that were deemed to be unhealthy or inactive, for example, could be restricted from buying high fat or calorific products creating a techno-enhanced version of the nanny-state.
This has huge ramifications for wearables and CX, where the measurement of the customer journey, their feelings and emotional response goes further than just the brand and allows the seller to automatically adjust and adapt to the needs of the customer. This approach to customer experience management will mean a huge increase in the amount of key information available on each of your customers. How this is connected to a specific customer/business interaction is harder to pinpoint and then, of course, there needs to be a way to accurately interrogate such vast amounts of data to enable the business to accurately act upon it. The relationship between the consumer, their use of technology and the services they consume is certainly an increasingly connected one.
Both a bright and bold future I think you will agree, but one that could raise questions about data security and the interpretation of what the customer truly wants.