After the unveiling of the new Apple Watch, it was apparent that wearables are just as functional as they are fun.
Beyond activity reminders and new ways to connect with loved ones, wearables offer countless opportunities for businesses to track employee efficiency, get information quickly, and offer new services in areas ranging from banking to travel to medical scheduling.
Think of wearables as the mullet of technology. There may be a party in the back, thanks to all those recreational apps, but we shouldn’t miss the many business use cases in the front.
For startups and small businesses, wearables can be money-saving and productivity-enhancing tools. Here, we’ve outlined a few specific ways that wearables could bring innovation and change for growing businesses.
Access key business data anywhere
It’s the age of data — meaning your customers and prospects expect that you’ve done your homework before you call or send them an email. They expect to ask questions and receive instant answers tailored to their unique needs. Having key business analytics on your wrist allows you to meet and exceed those expectations wherever you are — which was the inspiration behind our recent launch of Salesforce for Apple Watch.
Add another customer touchpoint
Customers use wearables for the same reason they use smartphones: to access and interact with all kinds of information, at any time, from anywhere — from checking a bank balance to scheduling a medical appointment to paying for street parking. It is becoming critical for brands to develop a presence on wearables in order to keep in front of customers in a different, more personal way. And that doesn’t have to happen from scratch — app development is increasingly available with clicks, not code, even with wearables.
Uncover valuable customer data
Wearables are still new to many consumers, but soon, consumers may opt to share wearable data with brands just like they share email addresses and phone numbers today. Runners could share their Fitbit data with a favorite shoe company for $30 off new shoes every 1,000 miles, for instance. Opportunities like these are nigh, so start thinking today about the wearable data that would help you serve customers in personalized, real-time ways.
Help your employees be more productive
A two-year study released in 2014 shows that employee productivity improved 8.5% when wearing devices like brain activity sensors, motion monitors, and posture coaches. Wearable apps enable employees to update time sheets, record and share meeting notes, and even view augmented reality overlays. Wearables become more powerful with each new release, so consider the areas where employees could be more efficient and the wearable devices that align with those needs.
Change the way you sell
The fewer barriers that customers have to pay you, the better. Apple Pay is integrated with the Apple Watch, which is one more reason to support Apple Pay in brick-and-mortar locations. PayPal’s app for the Samsung Gear 2 lets customers check in at stores to make payments, redeem offers, and more. Think about how tech-savvy your customer base is and prioritize new payment methods that cater to them.
Become a better leader
The generalization is often true: many entrepreneurs and small-business owners don’t sleep enough to function at peak efficiency. Seeing that you have a 37% sleep efficiency rating or an average of only 5 hours a night might be the catalyst you need to sleep more and boost your own productivity, becoming a better leader and manager in the process. In one case, distributing Fitbit trackers and connected scales as part of a company weight-loss program helped decrease absenteeism and “is saving the company about $38,035 annually due to decreased medical expenses and increased productivity,” according toBusiness2Community.
The Apple Watch hasn’t even shipped yet, but the creative and profitable business uses for wearables are just getting started. Read more about Salesforce for Apple Watch and Salesforce Wear Developer Pack and how they help business leaders connect to their customers like never before.