Apple has announced that the Apple Watch will initially only be available through its online store, for an unspecified period following the 24 April launch of the smartwatch. This might come as a surprise, given that the traditional all-night queuing has been part of Apple launch events for the best part of a decade, but according to a YouGov report, it actually reflects the wider state of the wearables market.
62 per cent of those who currently own a wearable device bought it online, according to the research – and of those in the market for a wearable, 56 per cent intend to make the purchase online. Unsurprisingly, Amazon accounted for half of online purchases, 31 per cent overall, while 11 per cent bought direct from the manufacturer – leaving traditional retailers in the dust.
Given the nature of wearables, you might expect customers to want to try before they buy, but YouGov found that, while 72% per cent of current wearable owners researched before buying, just 16 per cent went into a store to see the physical product.
This looks set to change, though, as 47 per cent of people researching a future wearable purchase intend to go into a store to check the device out for themselves.