Amazon Gives Wearable Technology A Digital Marketplace

2014-05-01_15-58-45

Amazon announces a new Wearable Technology store on its online marketplace. The new market will showcase activity trackers, smart watches, digital health tools, and wearable A/V equipment.

Amazon had already offered most of the products being sold in the new Wearable Technology store, but the products were harder to research and compare because they were sorted by their manufacturer. Now, products from Samsung, Fitbit, Jawbone, and others can be compared side-by-side. The new dedicated space also brings some helpful additional features consumers will appreciate, like advanced search and filtering capabilities. This will be helpful if, for example, someone wants to see all activity trackers under $100, that come in red, and have at least an average 4-star user review, the new store can streamline the search process.

The site also tackles consumer education by publishing legitimately helpful buyers guides for emerging products like smart watches and wearable cameras. The buyers guides offer insights that will help the average consumer understand what drives price point differences across the different models, and what features are important for their needs.

The storefront misses in some areas. For example, it has a dedicated Healthcare Devices section that only has 12 products. It includes a handful of smartphone-synching wireless blood pressure cuffs, pulse oximeters, and a posture sensor, but overall it is a far cry from representative of what is available in the digital health market.

In other areas of the new store Amazon is definitely stretching the “wearable technology” term well beyond its implied definition. Some of the market’s more interesting sub-sections include the Wearables for Pets section, which consolidates GPS trackers to help find runaway pets, and harnesses with mounted video cameras for consumers looking to capture the first-person experience of being a dog.  A Wearables for Babies section has just four video monitors, and nothing else. Surprising, considering that there is a steadily growing sub-market dedicated to monitoring vitals, hydration, and sleep patters of infants.

The Wearable Technology sector itself is still in its infancy, and so with time it’s reasonable to expect that this storefront will grow to include smart glasses, smart clothing, and other yet-to-be imagined digital technologies. Still, Amazon is a company that markets to the masses, and it stands to reason that the new storefront is in response to either real or anticipated consumer demand for the growing wearable technology market.


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