Kentico Software, provider of an all-in-one CMS, eCommerce, and online marketing platform, has revealed the findings from a global survey of web users which shows that while consumer interest in smartwatches is high in the US (nearly 60% would like to eventually own one—36% within the next year), the figures for Europe and the UK are more conservative (under one third of brits want to own one—22% in the next year).

Smart what?

Awareness and direct exposure to smartwatches is much lower in Europe – half as many Europeans than Americans know friends or colleagues with a smartwatch (22% in Europe, 44% in US).

Similarly, just 41% of Brits consider themselves early tech adopters, against 65% in US. One reason for these large differences can be explained by lack of education and/or knowledge: when asked how much they know about smartwatch functionality, only 38% of Europeans said 'a lot' or 'moderate' amount, against 55% in US.

Time is money

While 75% of people in the US and 60% of Europeans blame cost, the next biggest purchase barrier is lack of compelling reason to buy – one third in the US and 44% in Europe. Although many experts predict an increase in adoption as more consumers identify the need.

When presented with a list of possible smartwatch capabilities, 46% of Europeans cited the ability to email and text without having to pull out their phone as the most intriguing, while 37% favoured getting directions.

The next most popular features are voice and video calling (32%), followed by safety monitoring, real-time alerts such as those from an airline, bank or social network (24%) and tracking diet and exercise (21%).

The eventual mass adoption of smartwatches presents digital marketers with yet another way to provide content, however attitudes to opt-in and privacy vary.

Nearly half of Brits believe they will be okay with at least some advertising served up on the smartwatch (against 71% in US). While just over half of us here in Blighty would prefer to totally block ads (against 29% in US).

Willing to try

In a more positive show of consumer interest, 75% of Europeans express being possibly open to test driving a smartwatch to experience it for themselves. Surprisingly, 78% believe their use of the smartwatch will mostly be limited to personal matters, while 19% believe it could assist them both personally and professionally. Only 3% view the smartwatch as a work-only device.

In repsonse to the findings, Kentico CEO and founder, Petr Palas said:

"While it seems consumers need more time and help familiarizing themselves with all the exciting things the smartwatch can and will be able to do, it's also clear that curiosity reigns."

"I believe this early reluctance to adopt is partially related to the very personal nature of the wristwatch, but this personal element could also spur greater adoption once people realise just how powerful the smartwatch can be in assisting them with their own unique and everyday needs. There is no doubt in my mind that the smartwatch will eventually create a very unique opportunity for digital marketers in the years ahead," Mr Palas added.

A total of 1000 US, UK, Australian, German, Dutch, and French Internet users 18 years old and over participated in Kentico's Smartwatch Survey, conducted online during the month of December 2015.

About Kentico

Kentico is an all-in-one CMS, eCommerce, and online marketing platform that drives business results for companies of all sizes both on-premise or in the cloud. It gives customers and partners powerful, comprehensive tools and customer-centric solutions to create stunning websites and manage customer experiences easily in a dynamic business environment.

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