Smartwatches are Selling Better than Traditional Timepieces

by | 3 minute read

“The total U.S. wholesale watch universe grew 13% to $8.8 billion in 2018, driven by a 54% increase in dollar sales of smartwatches, according to the December 2018 Watch Total Market Report from The NPD Group. Traditional watches accounted for 56% of annual dollar sales, but smartwatches outsold them in Q4 2018, accounting for 55% of total watch sales during the final three months of the year.”

“’We have entered a new watch universe where smart options have become as significant as the traditional,’ said Reginald Brack, watches and luxury industry analyst, The NPD Group. ‘Smartwatches are today’s growth engine, but there is still a place for traditional watches among consumers and in the marketplace.’”

Smartwatch Shoppers are every bit the techies they seem to be. According to AudienceSCAN, these consumers also own Windows computers (66.2%), Smart TV/Streaming services (53.8%), iPads (48.7%), video game consoles (46.6%) and they’re 211% more likely than other adults to already have a smartwatch. In the past month, 57.8% have used a search engine to research a product they were considering and in the past six months, they’ve used the internet to look up a TV commercial on YouTube (38.6%) and used a mobile device to purchase products (58.9%). They’re also 147% more likely than other adults to find advertising on their mobile apps useful.

“While three out of the top five watch brands offer only smartwatches within their assortment, the other two are traditional brands that play at the upper end of the market. Despite overall sales declines in traditional watch channels, the average manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) of traditional watches being sold increased in 2018. The most stable price-point was at the high-end of the market, among watches priced $25,000 and up.”

“Gender-neutral trends are also gaining popularity among watch consumers. Gender-specific products still dominate the traditional watch market, but smartwatches are bringing unisex options into the mix in a new way. Sales of watches without a specific gender designation were the only segment to grow in 2018, up 35 percent in total MSRP dollar sales.”

“’Traditional brands who embrace the changing watch market, taking cues from consumers as well as products in the smartwatch segment, will be able to navigate the new landscape,’ said Brack. ‘Both faces of the watch industry will benefit from creating a brand experience and building relationships with the consumer.’”

Retailers can target Smartwatch Shoppers using digital advertisements. Last year, according to AudienceSCAN, these consumers took action after either seeing ads on their mobile smartphone apps or receiving an ad via text (69%), seeing ads on daily deals sites such as Groupon (66.4%) and receiving email ads (66.2%). They’re also 62% more likely than others to click on text link ads on websites. Don’t be afraid to mix in some traditional advertisements, though. Last year, 78.1% took action after seeing a TV commercial and 63.4% reacted to ads they saw in both print and digital magazines.

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. Media companies and agencies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.

Rachel Cagle

Rachel Cagle

Rachel is a Research Analyst, specializing in audience intelligence, at SalesFuel. She also helps to maintain the major accounts and co-op intelligence databases. As the holder of a Bachelors degree in English from The Ohio State University, Rachel helps the rest of the SalesFuel team with their writing needs.