Gartner survey about wearable devices

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2060

fitness-trackerAccording to a survey by Gartner, the abandonment rate of smartwatches is 29 percent, and 30 percent for fitness trackers. The survey shows that people don’t find them useful. “Dropout from device usage is a serious problem for the industry – said Angela McIntyre, research director at Gartner -. The abandonment rate is quite high relative to the usage rate. To offer a compelling enough value proposition, the uses for wearable devices need to be distinct from what smartphones typically provide. Wearables makers need to engage users with incentives and gamification”. The 2016 Gartner Personal Technologies Study surveyed 9,592 online respondents from Australia, the U.S. and the U.K. between June and August 2016, to gain a better understanding of consumers’ attitudes toward wearables, particularly their buying behavior for smartwatches, fitness trackers and virtual reality glasses. According to the survey, smartwatch adoption is still in the early adopter stage (10 percent), while fitness trackers have reached early mainstream (19 percent). Only 8 percent of consumers have used VR glasses/head-mounted displays (excluding cardboard types). The research found that people typically purchase smartwatches and fitness trackers for their own use, with 34 percent of fitness trackers and 26 percent of smartwatches given as gifts. Survey respondents indicated that wearable devices are priced too high. Gartner believes that wearable providers that do not have a strong brand name will find it more difficult to grow market share, competing directly with popular brands. Instead, they should accept lower margins and provide an alternative that is priced significantly lower than top brands, but still has good quality for price-sensitive consumers. The survey also revealed that the designs of smartwatches and fitness trackers are not appealing to consumers. To overcome this concern, Gartner recommends wearable providers partner with companies that design, brand, market and distribute watches and fashion accessories because they have experience setting style trends, marketing lifestyle devices and have established retail channels.
Besides, according to the survey, the U.S. is leading smartwatch usage at 12 percent, while the U.K. is at 9 percent and Australia at 7 percent. Smartwatch usage is clearly higher among people 44 years old and younger. More than half of people who use a smartwatch (58 percent) use it every day, and those who don’t (33 percent) use it at least several times a week. “The key to creating a value proposition to interest mainstream consumers is lifestyle messages around health tracking and the convenience of receiving alerts on the wrist, instead of via the phone – commented McIntyre -. The benefit will increase as these devices gain the capability to function more independently from the phone”. The survey also showed that the U.S. is leading fitness tracker usage at 23 percent, while the U.K. is at 15 percent and Australia at 19 percent. Most people with a fitness tracker wear it every day. For those who do not, 26 percent wear their fitness tracker at least several times each week. According to 29 percent of survey respondents, fitness trackers are unappealing devices. They said they would not wear them or that the designs are neither fashionable nor attractive.