U.S. Wearable Sales Will Reach $9.1 Billion By 2022

Most of these sales are poised to come from the 75 percent of consumers who have never owned a connected device.

U.S. wearable sales are expected to reach $9.1 billion by 2022, up from $4.8 billion today, according to Forrester’s latest Consumer Wearables forecast — and much of this market growth is likely to come from consumers who have never owned a connected device.

Why? As we reported last month, approximately 75 percent of internet users over the age of 18 said they have never purchased smart clothing or wearable devices — but half of these respondents said they planned to buy one or more within the next five years.

Essentially, wearables have reached a point of mainstream awareness, but, just as with smartphones and mobile payments, excitement within the industry at first outpaced consumer purchase. Now, “the market is… maturing and undergoing consolidation,” wrote Shaurya Priya in a Forrester blog post.

As this occurs, expect to see a couple of shifts. Firstly, Forrester projects that the future of wearables lies in smartwatches. This doesn’t mean that enthusiasm for fitness wearables — arguably the most developed subset of the market — will evaporate; simply that the technology behind smartwatches dovetails nicely with other present trends, including the rise of voice search and connected assistants.

“Using Siri on Apple Smartwatches and, now, Google Assistant on Android Smartwatches… you can search the web, manage appointments, holidays and e-mails,” Priya said. “As the utility delivered by smartwatches grows and app ecosystem matures, the adoption and sales are likely to increase rapidly.”

Secondly, marketers will look to invest more heavily in connected in-store experiences catered to owners of wearable devices. In fact, Zebra Technologies’ 2017 Retail Vision study found that 70 percent of retailers are investing in IoT technologies in a bid to improve the in-store shopping experience.

“Every inch of the retail industry is changing,” said Jeff Schmitz, CMO at Zebra. “Retailers [must be] poised to meet and exceed customer expectations with new levels of personalization, speed and convenience.”

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Lauryn Chamberlain Lauryn Chamberlain @laurynchamberla

Lauryn Chamberlain is the Associate Editor of A New York City based journalist, she specializes in stories related to retail, dining, hospitality, and travel.