Today’s aBlogtoWatch audience poll concerns our ability to make firm watch purchase decisions in an environment where new products are being introduced all the time. I’m curious to know how the recent trend of watch brands choosing to release small numbers of new products at various points during the year (versus releasing most of their products all at once) might have an impact on one’s ability to make confident watch purchase choices. For the vast majority of watch consumers out there, more exciting products are introduced each year than any one buyer can acquire. Therefore, watch lovers must sort through a variety of purchase options before ultimately deciding what to buy.
Consumers may have already started to notice that the traditional cycle of watch-related news has been changing, and there are various reasons for this. One major reason is that there are no longer as many major trade shows that brands can use to launch annual product catalogs. Without such opportunities to capture consolidated media and retailer attention, brands are forgoing traditional multiple-product launch events and rather focusing on one, or a small number of new product releases, at any given time.
Unlike in the recent past when most of the year’s new watches would be introduced in a small number of instances or events, today, watch media and consumers alike are presented with smaller, more regular (though often not scheduled) announcements. This has a series of upsides, including a more extended news cycle (more watches to cover in the news and by media such as aBlogtoWatch), but it also makes wrapping your mind around a brand’s latest offerings more challenging, if not impossible.
My theory is that consumers are better able to make a purchase decision when they have confidence their choice will remain wise into the near future. For example, if I purchase this watch today, I will still agree that it was a good idea a month from now. Alternatively, consumers might be less willing to make a purchase decision if they believe that, in the near future, an even more attractive purchase option might be available to them. This is especially important in the context of luxury timepieces because purchase decisions are made more carefully, and because consumers simply do not have the wholesale ability to buy all that they like, but rather a very narrow selection of what they like. Such is the nature of being a timepiece collector and enthusiast.
That said, it might be also the case that many watch consumers are already highly accustomed to having multiple purchase opportunities that are presented to them all the time. Accordingly, the problem of having to “choose between so many good options” is nothing new, and any mature watch buyer’s behavior is only moderately altered by having more new watch options available.
What makes this larger matter even more complicated is that in addition to new watches being released with more frequency, these days, more watches models than normal are in very high demand, thus harder to get. The idea that a watch is new but also potentially challenging to purchase at the outset could also have an important impact on wholesale consumer behavior in the timepiece buying space. This is despite the fact that a newer, even more desirable watch release could be just around the corner.
So we ask you, aBlogtoWatch audience, how has your watch purchase decision-making habits changed, or not, over the course of the last two years? Participate in the poll, and leave your extended thoughts in the comment section below.