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Study: Wearable Technology Will Upend Retail


Wearable technology is ripe for growth — especially among millennials, according to PwC’s “Consumer Intelligence Series – The Wearable Future” report. Twenty percent of American adults already own a wearable device, and the adoption rate — on par with tablets in 2012 — is quickly expected to rise.

Wearable technology is poised to create an enhanced customer experience, the report notes, allowing for better, more informed service; faster checkout; greater access to deals; and more real-time input into purchasing decisions. Consumers apparently agree. After dietary, exercise and medical information, an enhanced retail,experience was at the top of the list of information consumers would like wearable tech to provide them: 72% of people surveyed said it was very important for wearable technology to improve customer service.

“Wearable technology will slowly shift retail conventions as retailers will be able to connect the dots between pre-store and in-store behavior, and reach a new level of interconnected retail,” said Scott Bauer, PwC’s U.S. retail and consumer practice partner and omnichannel leader. “How consumers pay for purchases and interact with the retailer while in store is expected to be radically redefined by wearable technology, and retailers cannot afford to ignore the impact it could have on their bottom line.”

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