Mintel has identified ‘Get Smart’ as one of four key UK consumer trends for 2015. As the world of synced devices evolves, tech is moving into our homes and onto our bodies. As trusted brands such as Google and Apple get involved, consumers are becoming more aware of – and confident in – using and adopting this technology.

In 2015, the Apple Homekit, Samsung SmartHome and Google Fit ecosystems will bring the apps and appliances that control our homes and analyse our health and fitness under one roof, whilst we’ll see innovative new devices such as the Apple Watch and Ralph Lauren’s Polo Tech smart shirt go on sale. All of this will convert consumer interest into investment and further develop the growing trend towards digital narcissism, where consumers are analysing themselves and doing their own number crunching. Mintel’s research reveals that the appetite for analysis and synchronisation is already there – 31% of UK consumers are interested in using a smart watch with fitness functionality and 40% a device that tracks heart rate, blood pressure and movement – and we can expect these numbers to increase in line with new products which capture consumer interest.

While the implications for the technology, health and entertainment sectors are clear – the financial services sector at first seems an unlikely match, but is an area we can also see clear opportunities for as this trend evolves in the coming year.

We have already seen some examples for what this might mean for finance going forward. One key example is Alfa-Bank in Russia, which is giving its customers preferential interest rates based on the data it receives from their fitness trackers. Syncing an app with leading fitness tracking devices, the bank is able to monitor customers’ activity and transfer small amounts of money to a high interest savings account when they exercise – this activity is the only way they can have access to such a high interest account, providing a clear incentive to get moving (and tracking).

In the coming year, we expect home internet providers to look at offering synced leisure and home appliance systems – and for consumers to become increasingly keen to share data with professionals for analysis, if it brings them a solid return. The fact that many smart home systems focus on security suggests a entry or partnership point for insurance providers and another major opportunity here is for finance companies to help consumers analyse things like smart home utilities data in a bid to help them better regulate their energy and save their money.

Watch Mintel’s Senior Trend Consultant, Richard Cope explain how the financial services sector can benefit from Mintel’s Get Smart trend in the video above – and to read more about the opportunities for financial services and other market sectors in 2015, download your free copy of Mintel’s 2015 Consumer Trends here.

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