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Tech of the Future: How Wearables Are Taking Small Businesses Forward
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Experts believe that wearables are the next big thing in tech; they see the new wearable devices as an extension of existing technologies and are finding new ways for users to interact with them. While the wearable market is relatively quiet on the surface, there have actually been some amazing developments over the years.
Sales of the Apple Watch and Android Wear smartwatches may not be as spectacular as many had hoped, but the entire wearable industry was still a $2 billion market by the end of 2015. In fact, many believe that the size of the market will be doubled by the end of 2017.
It doesn’t stop at the size of the market either. New technologies are making wearables more functional. On top of that, these technologies are putting wearables in the hands of small businesses, pushing them forward and taking them into the future.
Small Solutions for Specific Businesses
One of the interesting things to note about the wearable market of today is the availability of small, customizable solutions for small businesses. These smaller solutions are the ones actually powering the market, adding new features and helping transform the way customers interact with small and medium businesses across the country.
A fitness center, for instance, can have its own fitness tracker made. The business can have a comprehensive database of customers, designed to be compatible with both the proprietary wearable devices as well as common devices customers can pick up on the market. Data from these devices is then processed, allowing personal trainers to offer better suggestions and the fitness center to offer a personalized customer experience.
We at FitPay recognizes these solutions as one of the ways forward, which is why our payment solution is designed to be as flexible as possible. FitPay can be integrated with new wearables to allow for easy, contactless payments. Members of the fitness center who use FitPay-enabled wearables can also make payments at other outlets that support payment processing through MasterCard’s contactless payment network.
A Growing Community
The fact that businesses and communities can develop systems that suit their needs perfectly based on turnkey solutions is considered to be the driving force of this immense growth. The $4 billion mark targeted in 2017 is an achievable goal thanks to a growing market taking wearables to new heights. Businesses are starting to introduce more creative concepts regarding how to use wearables to enhance customer experience.
To make it even better, there is no need for a big investment in order to start utilizing wearables as part of a business’ workflow. The production of custom, proprietary wearables can be done on a project basis, which means smaller businesses can still rely on financing options such as receivable financing and short-term investments to maintain a healthy cash flow while investing in new technologies and solutions.
Aside from contactless payments, wearables are capable of receiving notifications, producing reminders and acting as a way to communicate with customers. The use of wearables as part of an internal workflow also helps key figures such as sales officers and decision makers to be more involved in delivering the best CX to a wider customer.
Pampering the Customers
As always with most IT solutions, the true benefits of using wearables in small business operations are not just enjoyed by the businesses but also by customers who are actively engaged in the modern, tech-fueled lifestyle. There are so many new things that modern wearables can achieve, removing older limitations and allowing interaction between the device and customers to be smoother and more enjoyable.
Newer devices are capable of operating without the need for a phone while maintaining that ability to interact with Android and iOS smartphones fluidly. Updated apps are bringing new features to existing smartwatches and other wearables. It is also difficult to ignore the fact that there are more devices to choose from today.
Version 2.0 of the Apple Watch comes with a number of new features that improve on the original. Samsung took Tizen OS to the mainstream market with its Gear S2 and Gear S3 smartwatches. Other brands, including Moto and Huawei, continue to innovate and bring new Android Wear smartwatches to the table.
Businesses are no longer limited to proprietary systems either. It is now easy to develop wearable apps to bring specific functions directly to customers. Supporting systems – such as the cloud-based database system used by the fitness center in the previous example – are also more capable of handling advanced analysis. Together, these elements are truly transforming the way wearables are affecting the market.