From sports watches to smart jewelry and fitness trackers, the wearable technology market is booming. In 2015 alone, sales of such accessories surged past $2 billion, according to Statista, with continued expected growth this year and over the coming years. And an even more niche category is evolving under its electronic umbrella—wearable technology accessories that allow the wearer to personalize their pieces.
One company that has gone all in on the wearable accessory scene is Voguestrap, a 75-year old watch band and watch accessories manufacturer. In 2013, they launched their Smart Buddie brand, which makes accessories for wearable technology, such as strap replacements for Fitbit fitness trackers. Since then, the company has made several recent major investments in further developing this category.
Their biggest initiative was hiring an entire product design team with an impressive background devoted just to wearables. The brand is now headed by Robert Shadowens, who was newly appointed as Vice President of Consumer Electronics and Wearable Technology. Shadowens’ main task will be to grow their retail business, which already includes national retailers like Walmart, Target and Kohl’s.
Before the new hires and launching new products, Voguestrap did their own thorough market research to understand what female customers were looking for when it comes to wearables. Amongst their findings are that 12% of respondents in this study, which consisted of over 3,000 participants, received their activity tracker as a gift, an area Voguestrap sees as an opportunity for retailers to promote. Of the women that have trackers, 72% of them would like to change the style, color and fashion. And when shopping for wearables, they prioritize fashion first, followed by a good warranty.
“What we found with our studies is that women like to accessorize their wearables to match their outfits, and that personalization is key. We are accommodating consumer demands with the latest colors, prints and fashion styles,” says Shadowens.