More than half of UK shoppers (51%) believe that wearable devices including smartwatches, wristbands, fobs, stickers and smart clothing will be commonplace for in-store payments within two to five years, a survey by Vista Retail Support reveals.
82% view speed at the checkout as the main advantage of using wearable technology, while 49% say it will improve their experience by allowing them to receive personalised offers when they are shopping. 73% would pay for public transport and taxis with a wearable device while more than half would use one to pay for fast food or to gain entry to a venue.
However, 63% of the 250 respondents said security fears might deter them from using wearable technology and 52% would be discouraged if only a few shops allowed them to use it. Only 11% are worried wearable devices might be “too complicated”.
“Wearable technology such as the smartwatch is going to change our in-store experience significantly,” says James Pepper, technical director at Vista Retail Support. “The results show us that faster payments and product information sent directly to a piece of wearable technology are the future of retail.
“This survey demonstrates that this is how shoppers expect the in-store experience to develop and retailers need to prepare for it. They must have the right infrastructure in their stores so shoppers can use their wearable devices easily and securely.”
“Consumers are far from conservative about wearable technology and will be hoping to use it if their concerns about security and privacy are allayed,” adds Pepper. “They appreciate its versatility and can see how it will help them in many different retail environments.”