Functionality, Brand Fuel Smartwatch Choices

Smartwatch users want their devices to work well, particularly with their similarly branded smartphones, but they are beginning to consider their fashion bona fides as well.

According to new research from Parks Associates, more than half (58%) of smartwatch owners made their purchase decisions based on the device’s features and functionality. Next among their deciding factors was brand (49%), followed by the device’s design and fashion appeal (30%). 

“Our data shows product appearance is the third most important factor. The manufacturers are beginning to pay more attention to the design and appearance of [the devices],” Tejas Meheta, research analyst with Parks Associates, tells Marketing Daily.

Meanwhile, ranking brand as the second most important factor indicates that consumers have put a great deal of trust in these companies to make something that functions the way they want it to, Meheta says. “The smartwatch is a little different from other products,” he says. “It’s a more personal product. It’s something that goes on the body.”



When it comes to the functions desired in a smartwatch, many of those who plan to purchase the devices are intending to use them to extend the experience provided by their smartphones (which may also contribute to brand preference). 

According to the research, 52% of those planning to purchase a smartwatch will use it for tracking fitness. A similar number said they will use it to check the weather and/or listen to music. Other functions, such as making or receiving phone calls, mobile payment and home automation control were further down the list.

“Smart watches are ideally suited for [the uses cited]. They don’t require a lot of interaction or space. It’s an immediate value proposition,” Meheta says. “Once the [development] platforms become more prominent, you’ll see more use cases come up. These are the things that drive adoption.”

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