"The biggest problem that our customers had with wearables was that they didn't know which wearable was right for them. Each customer had a different need--like tracking sleep, losing weight, or being able to run faster," says Ramamurthy. "It didn't make sense to apply the same business model as photo/video gear to wearables, because wearables are less expensive but have a lot more variety."
And thus the home try-on box was born and launched in January. I ordered a box with a few devices I'd been eager to test out, and had a chance to try the Samsung Gear Fit, Withings Pulse O2, and aforementioned UP24 amidst the pack. Each device was packaged in a plastic baggie with the necessary cables, as well as a label noting basic features and functionality, as well as which smartphone app to download.
All of the devices looked clean and ready to wear--a couple didn't even appear to have been used before (the Pulse O2 still had a translucent sticker around it). General instructions for the program and process were included inside the box, and everything appeared neat and orderly. A return label was found at the bottom, and on the sixth day after receiving the box, I received an email saying it needed to go back tomorrow. A quick drop at FedEx and the process was complete.
More to come
Granted, it took almost three weeks for the box to reach my doorstep--the order wasn't even confirmed for two full weeks, whereas the email I received after choosing my devices suggested it'd be just a day or two. Ramamurthy chalks that up to intense demand, with hundreds of orders outpacing their supply. "A good problem," she admits, but one that initially backlogged orders. "We're in much better shape now, and orders are going out much faster as our inventory pool and supply chain is improving," she explains.
And Lumoid has made other improvements in response to user feedback, such as adding more detailed setup instructions to the boxes, and creating walkthrough videos viewable on the website. She says it's too early to share conversion details--that is, how many people buy one of the devices after testing it--but notes that the rate is climbing each week as they improve the packaging and turnaround speed, and make things as easy as possible for consumers.
The home try-on selection has already improved significantly since I chose my devices: additional options like the Fitbit Charge HR, Nike+ Fuelband SE, and even the Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor weren't listed for me back in January, and the total selection comprises about 20 devices at present. However, the rental price has also increased, up to $25 for the week from $20 at launch.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.