After wowing donors at Kickstarter last year to such an extent that it went away with over $10 million in investment, Pebble has finally started shipping its smart wristwatch, which has been hitting doorsteps for a few weeks now. E‑commerce managers and e‑commerce analysts wanting to know more about expectation management could learn a lot from Pebble. After promising shipments would begin last fall, a huge order backlog ensured and it took considerably longer to get the ball rolling. But it’s been extraordinarily deft at keeping its pre-order customers regularly and fully informed via stories, videos and photos.
The first recipients, of course, have been the startup’s Kickstarter backers, but with mass production now in full momentum with 15,000 being manufactured every week, everyone else who pre-ordered will soon have theirs if it hasn’t already arrived. The watch, which connects to the iPhone and to Android devices, is modestly handsome as opposed to riotously gorgeous, but that crisp, customizable, black-and-white e‑paper display is a real winner, remaining highly readable even in sunlight.
E‑commerce analysts keen to spot the next big thing might do well to follow the Pebble’s fortunes. It not only displays incoming caller IDs, Facebook messages, tweets, emails and weather alerts, it will also offer a range of apps for sports and fitness enthusiasts, from cyclists and runners to golfers. Freecaddie is working with the firm to develop a golf range-finder app that will work on over 25,000 golf courses across the globe. It’s totally waterproof, too, so swimmers can keep up with all the latest tweets while taking a dip.
The rise of wearable technology
Enderle Group’s Robert Enderle says, “Folks liked putting the devices on their wrists when they were bike riding, jogging or doing many other sports — or just having it more handy than in their pocket. For a startup, this is a decent market that could grow to become the next big thing because often we don’t have a free hand and still need to interact with our personal technology.”
And that market is poised to take off – Google Glass alone is set to blaze a trail in wearable technology and rumors abound that Apple, too, is developing a smart watch of its own. This is a space that e‑commerce analysts might want to watch rather closely.