10 Wearable Tech Products That Make eCommerce Sexy
Wearable tech becomes more available to us consumers and truly addresses very specific needs to make us super human like, more efficient and simply improve our lives. Yet, besides its obvious appeal of better performance and health, in the eCommerce space, wearable tech startups are also becoming the hottest brands and sites to watch for.
This is due to a number of factors that differentiate those sites from all the usual resellers. Given the unique nature of the actual product, in addition to other eCommerce profit drivers (see them all in my book), these sites have a good potential to make it big or at least, make a very loud dent, while also developing this new category of consumer goods.
Though, my long time wearable tech for the last 4 years is Polar watch, (without which I do not like to work out since it keeps me in the fat burning zone & away from a slacking kind of a workout), here is the list of top 10 that got on my radar:
1. Lumobodytech launched in Dec 2013, offers you a device to monitor and adjust your posture. Now, the site enjoys about 80K UV per Compete (with what seems a 6% conversion rate to the store page), it does allow you to pre-order (sold 16,000 units in 6 months for $1.2M as it claims, so far). The device can be worn discreetly on your shirt and powered up with an iPhone and Android app, it will vibrate to help you train yourself to keep your shoulders, back and head in check to seize the day. In addition to health benefits of a good posture, the device promises to boost your confidence, lift your spirits, improve your appearance and get the most out of life. Smart usage of value bundles and accessories, from the revenue growth perspective, healthy conversion (5K people go to the liftstore from 80K), 33% Facebook traffic, 24 % Google, rest from the affiliates, 1.6 % direct. Not bad!
2. Owlet baby monitors launched in the beginning of last year, slowly getting some traction, since April this year and enjoys up to 6K UV, while getting over 55% of its traffic from Google. Now, the device is only available for purchase later this year, but you can still pre-order (at the retail price of $250) or sign up for the updates when it is available in other stores. “Checkout using Amazon”- did not work for me. It says I could pre-order, but looks like the team is still working out the details as my experience got frozen and stuck (something for them to fix). Yet, I do not have babies yet, but already do want the product, the landing page makes it so sweet for momies, existing or to-be, aw!
3. Gpop (Google Glass Accessories) started by my former colleague, a Walmart.com alumni, David Lee (with who we launched a few designs up and wowed on so many newly discovered sites we wished to replicate). Anyhow, this new ecommerce site offers skin accessories for your Google glass and other gear to be wearing them in style. You can build your own design, pick what is available and truly make your gadget pop. This is a place to go to make your Google Glass look stylish & stand out in the cool crowd.
4. Sensoria offers smart socks (with an ankle insert and an app) and a smart bra (a heart rate monitor in the bra). To me, as a runner (I run 4-6 times a week), both products seem very convenient, except the price and the experience I have today that must be changed: I go through 7 pairs of sports bras and socks a week, wash them weekly. Their prices even in a package of 7 are close to one bundle of socks and a bra. If I pay this much and I wear those this often, I might be going through 4-6 of those a year, which is costly and around $500 -1000. For the same amount, I can have new fitness set every year and use the same monitor. Plus, how do you wash the bra with some tech in it? I think the idea is good; yet a few details must be worked out on the audience, market size and price. Yet, the products do look good and, there were times I wished to rip the polar strap away. Perhaps, the products seem to be targeted more at the semi or professional athletes who also spend money on private coaching.
5. Withings offers products that monitor heart rate, blood pressure and sleep activity 24/7. Withings Aura brings to market a bedside device that claims to help you record your sleep environment (noise, air, light, pollution, temperature), which you might choose to correct or use to alleviate the cumulative impact by changing light and sound programs. Plus, you get a sleep sensor under your mattress to get insights on your body movement, heart rate and sleep cycles and of course an app with all that data. I must say, it looks super handy, and I wish there were a travel version of it. My long sleep companion is Sleep Cycle app, thus I see Aura with a mattress pad being of a more accurate nature. The device is not available yet for sale (spring 2014), but I imagine, would be available on the other retailer sites vs. direct.
6. Whistle is a tracking device for your pet, which also monitors its rest and activities, comes with a collar and a USB charging dock and going at $129. You can buy it direct on its site (which roughly gets over 20K UV, as of today), yet growing rapidly and using Facebook as one of the major traffic sources (40%).
7. Skylly Helmets are still in development, yet seems to be offering smart helmets and a nice addition to the motorcycle category. The evolved product would bring higher awareness on the road with smart sensors, optics and cameras. Sounds like a viable and a needed product. Extra caution with a BMW like smart sensor tech for motocyclysts? Sign me up.
8. Solar RackSack from Voltaic Systems has been in the market for 2 years and can be used as secondary battery reliance for heavy backpackers and hikers. Those are sold on many marketplaces online, offline and direct (though I see a room, if not, a palace of improvement available for their ecommerce site). It is a solid product that brings the benefits of environmentally friendly charging to all our tech that we have to have with us at all times. You can find solar chargers, beyond the rucksacks for your Go Pro, mac books, tablets, digital cameras and even Arduino grids. Charge and go use case!
9. GoPro is in full bloom as a brand and as a growing eCommerce site (responsive too), now with over 400K UV, and surely a double of that amount during the holiday season. The site design strikes with the excitement via embedded videos that tell you what’s possible. Heck, I want to jump around from planes, take the camera to my surfing trip and take life by the horns with the proof of it! A very smart move of the existing product for extreme activities and other aspects of life when you do not need to worry of breaking, losing and damaging your camera no matter at what speed, angle and altitude you are shooting, while also doing something else.
10. FitBit also enjoys a high growth, with over 1.5M UV, with a huge increase from mobile for sure, very likely due to being responsive and also enjoying 40% of direct traffic, which is huge – brands of eBay caliber enjoy that level of consumer commitment. It offers about 5 products that track your sleep, weight and activities throughout the day and during the workouts. You can buy those direct via one page checkout experience (as sleek as the product design) and at other retailers, Amazon including.
Wearable tech is surely a fun category in the consumer and eCommerce space. Despite the hotness and the obvious advantage within the eCommerce playground due to its offering unique, self-manufactured and mostly premium products, it has other challenges of more complex scrutiny by the user, at times a need of clinical studies, patent approvals and resolving manufacturing and fulfillment logistics. Not every CES featured and highly praised product will make it, regardless of the VC funding collected.
Yet, those problems can be figured out, as evidenced by some of the brands above.
Let’s keep bringing those to market faster and smarter, while also leveraging the evolution of eCommerce technology and ecosystem to sell wearable tech direct. And if you are a reseller, make sure you offer those hot products to your customers and get your share of the pie.
What did I miss? What else is available? Do share with me.