New International Data Corporation (IDC) research has identified that consumers who plan on purchasing a wearable product in the next six months are tech savvy, highly social and extremely style conscious.The IDC found that 89 per cent of “wearable intenders” are comfortable with technology, with 76 per cent checking their smartphone first thing in the morning, and are also extremely social, with 87 per cent using Facebook, including 29 per cent who check Facebook hourly.

Among wearable intenders, 54 per cent agree with the statement: “When I don’t check social media, I wonder what I am missing”, known as FOMO (fear of missing out).

The style-conscious mentality of wearable intenders is, meanwhile, demonstrated by agreement with the following statements: “I am conscious of how I present myself” (81 per cent), “How I dress is important to me” (77 per cent), “My clothing is an expression of who I am” (66 per cent) and “The accessories that I wear (eyeglasses, watch, jewellery) say something about me” (63 per cent).

Nearly three quarters (74 per cent) agree that “Wearables technology is exciting”, with 71 per cent agreeing with the statement “I believe wearables is the next big thing in technology”, while 65 per cent of intenders agree that “Wearables technology will positively impact daily life”.

“Intenders are enthusiastic about wearables, but have hesitated to actually purchase a device,” Allan Fromen, IDC Global Buyer Behaviour Practice vice president and consulting partner, commented. “This implies that companies have not yet cracked the code to deliver something that is both functional and fashionable.

“Given that intenders are highly style conscious, companies clearly need to focus on the aesthetics of their product – perhaps even more so than the features.”

Wearable intenders’ most preferred brands are Apple for smartwatches (52 per cent), Fitbit for fitness trackers (37 per cent), Google for eyewear (36 per cent) and Nike for clothing (40 per cent).

“We are still in the early stages of the wearables market and that gives companies throughout the ecosystem opportunity to grab mind share and market share,” Ramon Llamas, IDC wearables team research manager, commented.

“Intenders are gravitating towards tech companies for wearables because tech companies have helped pioneer and move the market forward.

“What will be interesting to observe is how tech companies partner with non-tech companies to develop new applications, or even how non-tech companies can compete in this space. Our research shows interest for both.”

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