When we investigated the current state of the smartwatch experience together with AnswerLab, we saw a massive disconnect between what study participants wanted from their wearable gadgets and the reality of how they used them. Regardless of watch platform or length of ownership, watch wearers in our study used them primarily as notification engines.
But they envisioned a future in which their smartwatches wouldn’t just alert them when a task merited pursuit on another device. They wanted to take meaningful watch-based action:
- Don’t just remind me to refill a prescription—let me send the refill request to my pharmacy.
- Thanks for the alert that my credit card bill is due—let me authorize a payment.
- I get the same Thai takeout combo every week—let me place my usual order with a tap.
Nobody expected to execute complex tasks on a watch start-to-finish. But participants wanted the option to replicate past orders or pull the trigger on a process started in another channel.
What works: As a playful way to place a lunch order, Chipotle’s “burrito button” exemplifies a prime example of a bite-size interaction—pun intended! One little tap readies a user’s most common entrée for pickup at her favorite Chipotle location and pays the tab.
What doesn’t: Clothing retailer Zara allows browsing on its app…and that’s it. There’s no mechanism to purchase or even bookmark favorite looks for further research.
Brands that want to create smartwatch value won’t just remind customers of items on their to-do lists. They’ll enable bite-size interactions that empower customers to actually get things done right from their wrists.
Want to know what else drives smartwatch value and what it looks like? Download your FREE copy of Smartwatch Apps That Work: 5 Value Drivers To Make Your App Indispensable.