JB HOMER Retained Executive Search, specializing in executive search for technology and operations talent in a global market

In this addition of the President's Letter, Jeff explores the next new wave of innovation. Will you embrace it?

President, JB Homer Associates

Wearable Devices - The New Wave

by Jeff Hunt
SVP of Technology Recruitment

We've seen forms of wearable technology devices on TV news, most notably the body cameras worn by police officers as they pursue suspects in crime. Although the usage of other types of wearable devices such as smart watches and smart glasses is on the rise on the consumer side, it has not yet gone mainstream in terms of how businesses can interact with customers in this regard. However, companies are now beginning to put together business use cases to explore the benefits of interacting with these devices because they can provide a hands free way to engage in real time with customers, corporate information, and others within the organization -- and has the potential to open up new business opportunities for marketing, including insights into user interaction and enhanced customer data collection.

One industry example of where wearable technologies could add business value is in the retail sector. As an integral component of an overall omnichannel strategy, a number of retailers are introducing pilot programs in brick & mortar stores to allow them to display personalized and customized proximity marketing messages to customers' wearable devices via beacon technology when they are in the vicinity of or actually enter the physical store environment. These messages, in part based on customers' prior buying habits and purchase history, are synced to smart watches and smart glasses through the creation of opt-in wearable applications, and may contain targeted offers, coupons, information about promotions, or guide customers to merchandise displays within the store.

Store associates are already wearing wireless headsets wearable computers, and TechLanyards to enable more efficient, hands free communication and flow of information in order to increase in store collaboration with customers and other store personnel. A potential impact driven by the rise of wearable devices by consumers is the improvement to the customers' in store experience including directing them to merchandise based on prior shopping history and product preferences, and giving them the ability to checkout via mobile payment applications such as Apple Pay and Google Wallet.

As the usage of wearable technology becomes more mainstream, companies are grappling with the issue of privacy and security concerns around the collection and distribution of sensitive customer information over wearable devices to ensure that the same security protocols are on par with more traditional devices such as mobile phones and tablets.

It is inevitable that companies that wish to remain competitive in the future must prepare for the next wave of wearable technology devices with strategies to leverage their value for both consumers and corporate associates.

As a leader within your company, you should now be thinking about the rise in use of wearable devices and its impact on improving customer engagement. Please let us know about innovative technology products and solutions that you would like to put forward in your organization --

We hope you enjoy these suggestions.
Feel free to email me with your thoughts at: jhunt@jbhomer.com

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