Imagine if we could travel with a single wearable device or item of clothing “unlocking” the world for us as we go. With our identification documents, payment methods, guidebook, maps, etc. all in one place, there would be no hassle, no fuss. The benefits for the consumer are obvious, but this also poses great opportunities for travel and leisure brands.
As we explored in our Tech Trends series of articles, the adoption of wearables has been limited to date. This is partly because some of their uses or the benefits of them are not clear, partly because the potential of the technology hasn’t yet been realized and also in part because of their price. However, if the benefits were more obvious, price might not be such an issue for some consumers.
As the technology becomes increasingly sophisticated, however, the opportunities that wearables offer to travel and leisure brands will emerge and take off. In an increasingly technology driven and connected world in which personalized products and services are king, wearables are the potential holy grail for brands. They are a mass market device that is tailored to each unique connected traveler. They are an opportunity to connect with consumers individually, to appeal to their interests and tastes and to build a relationship that encourages their loyalty.
The key to successfully using wearables to provide that individualized and seamless experience that today’s consumers crave will be all about creating smarter ways to interpret the data collected using them. It is the processing, analysis, interpretation and delivery of the personal information that will be critical to success. Connected travelers will expect their wearables to be completely personalized to their needs – be that recommendations on sights to see and where to eat based on their recorded preferences and past behavior, or advice on what factor sun lotion they should use given their skin type, or the adjustment of the thermostat in their hotel room based on their body temperature.
Wearables are the gateway to offering the truly personalized and seamless experience that consumers want. As long as the benefits to them are made clear, including how their personal data will be used and safe-guarded, consumers are more likely to be willing to share details about themselves with a brand.
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