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Survey Analysis: Wearable Devices need to be More Useful (Gartner)

By |January 23rd, 2017|REPORTS & ANALYSIS, Surveys & Articles, Wearables Market Research|

High Abandonment Rates Indicate the Need for More Compelling Value Propositions to Drive Greater Adoption

The abandonment rate of smartwatches is 29 percent, and 30 percent for fitness trackers, because people do not find them useful, they get bored of them or they break, according to a survey by Gartner, Inc.

“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 (VR) 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 survey 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.

“Continued growth in the adoption of smartwatches and fitness trackers will now be from mainstream consumers instead of early technology adopters,” said Ms. McIntyre. “The greatest hurdle for fitness tracker and smartwatch providers to overcome is the consumer perception that the devices do not offer a compelling enough value proposition.”

Survey respondents indicated that wearable devices are priced too high, given their perceived usefulness. 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.

Smartwatches still for early tech adopters

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. Usage is up from Gartner’s 2015 consumer survey, which showed that 8 percent of respondents in the U.S. and 5 percent in the U.K. used smartwatches.

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,” said Ms. McIntyre. “The benefit will increase as these devices gain the capability to function more independently from the phone.”

Fitness trackers reach early mainstream

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. Usage has increased from the Gartner 2015 consumer survey, which showed that 17 percent of respondents in the U.S. and 10 percent in the U.K. used fitness trackers. 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. “Fitness tracker cases and wristbands designed by fashion brands are sold as higher-priced upgrades, which may be a barrier to purchase,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal research analyst at Gartner.

Younger people less than 45 years old tended to think a smartphone can do everything they need. People at least 45 years old state that they do not plan to purchase a fitness tracker because they are too expensive for the value.

“More fitness trackers will be sold as replacement devices rather than first-time purchases from now until the middle of 2017,” said Ms. Kitagawa. “It’s important for providers to market lower-priced fitness trackers to the older user segments, especially to older women.”

Gartner clients can read more in the report: “User Survey Analysis: Wearables Need to Be More Useful.”

Wearable Market Value $150 Billion by 2026 (Report)

By |August 11th, 2016|Forecasts (In-Depth), Market Data, REPORTS & ANALYSIS|

In the event that these figures don’t sound insightful to you, and no matter how valid reason you might be carrying around, trust us, all your imaginations and assumptions are eventually going to take a deep breath and relax. While they do so, a research firm IDTechEx recently came up with few facts and numbers in its report that may grab your attention.

It’s quite apparent that wearable tech contributes a noteworthy foothold across consumer electronics segment, especially those products that are supposed to be worn on the person. Researchers said that the market would be worth over $30 Billion by the end of this year and grow further 10% annually to over $40bn by 2018.

“Fuelled by a frenzy of hype, funding, and global interest, wearable technology was catapulted to the top of the agenda for companies spanning the entire value chain and world. This investment manifested in hundreds of new products and extensive tailored R&D investigating relevant technology areas,” researchers noted.

In fact, it just doesn’t end with 2018. The research also states that those figures will keep on climbing high by 23% growth rate to over $100 Billion by 2023. However, those figures will then witness downfall, up to 11% by 2026 – valued at $150 Billion.

“However, the fickle nature of hype is beginning to show, and many companies are now progressing beyond discussing ‘wearable’ to focus on the detailed and varied sub-sectors,” researchers added.

The overall contribution will play a significant role across the industries such as healthcare & medical, fitness & wellness, infotainment, commercial, industrial, military, etc. The contribution of different wearable products will be comprised depending upon the location on the body such as head, ear, eyes, body (torso), arms, wrist, legs & feet, implantable, multi-location / adaptability by user or user case, etc.

Wearable Adoption more than Doubled in 2 Yrs

By |May 13th, 2016|Market Data, REPORTS & ANALYSIS|

The adoption of wearables has skyrocketed, rising from 21 percent of the U.S. population in 2014 to 49 percent in 2016, according to a report by consulting firm PwC.

And parents are significantly more likely to own not just one, but multiple wearable devices, the report said. About 36 percent of respondents own more than one wearable.

PwC’s report, “The Wearable Life: Connected Living in a Wearable World,” is an update to a report the company created in 2014. PwC created the report to better understand the wearable tech landscape and identify trends and opportunities.

The report was based on a survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers responding to an online survey. And it noted that “the 49 percent of respondents who say they own a wearable could be slightly inflated: our definition notwithstanding, many consumers think of their smartphones as wearables.” PwC conducted a similar survey in 2014.

Above: PwC wearable report
Image Credit: PwC

It found that the No. 1 reason people buy these devices is to improve their own health (no duh). The wearables include fitness trackers/bands, smart glasses, smart watches, smart clothing, and other wearable devices. This includes, but is not limited to, products such as Fitbit, Google Glass, GoPro, Apple Watch, and others.

Both men and women like their wearables, however, men are more likely to own smart watches and smart glasses than their female counterparts, PwC said. And, not surprisingly, millennials are far more likely to own wearables than older adults. Adoption of wearables declines with age, the report said.

The report found that consumers aged 35 to 49 are most likely to own smart watches.

Above: PwC wearable report
Image Credit: PwC

How Wearables Can Augment Your Marketing Strategy

By |May 7th, 2016|Uncategorized|

According to CNNMoney, sales of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets are definitely still growing — but not nearly at the rate they were just a few short years ago. Does this mean consumers are eschewing the convenience of the mobile platform in favor of the traditional desktop and laptop PC of yesteryear? Absolutely not. PC sales have been on the decline for a while and show no signs of slowing down.

So what’s the next bold frontier in the B2B marketing spectrum?

The answer is simple: wearable devices. According to eMarketer, there will be an estimated 81 million wearable users walking around every day by 2018.

The most obvious question to ask: “Do I need a wearable marketing strategy?” As with most things, the answer is a resounding “maybe.” Your answer should depend on your marketing goals and the relationship you have with your target audience.

The Value of Wearables in the B2B Space

You understand that the B2B market’s decision-making process is much more complex than a typical B2C market’s. Rather than appeal to a single household or consumer, for instance, your brand has to consider the administrative procedures that a business has in place. Multiple experts, board members, and managers (each with their own set of concerns) will most likely weigh in on whether to purchase your product or service.

Therefore, segmenting your audience is a rather complex process. Are you going to segment the companies in which these parties work or the parties themselves? Should you pinpoint one main decision maker per company, or do you categorize the key decision makers?

Once you do make a decision, your job isn’t finished. You then need to gather insights on your unique segments to better appeal to them. Luckily, wearable technologies are about to dramatically increase the volume and quality of data you receive on a regular basis. The key is to actually put the data to use.

Say you know that, statistically speaking, the CFOs you target consume the majority of their content on their way to and from work. In the past, you would have had to guess the approximate time they would be on their commute and send materials accordingly. You’d likely be able to get pretty close, but some days would be more successful than others.

Thanks to wearable tech, however, the geolocational tools built into products like the Apple Watch can show you exactly when that commute is taking place. You can then send those B2B marketing materials at precisely the right moment, thus increasing effectiveness and strengthening your connection.

Two Questions You Should Ask Before Implementing Your Strategy

The volume of data that wearable tech can arm you with is wonderful, but only if you’re willing to take it to the next level and actually use what it’s trying to tell you. So before you decide that a wearable marketing strategy is right for your business, there are some key questions you need to ask yourself:

1. Do I have the infrastructure in place to adapt to the ways in which wearables are about to disrupt marketing materials from just about every angle?

Remember: You can only make one first impression, and launching a wearable marketing strategy before you’re ready to put your best foot forward from a technology perspective stands to not only harm the effectiveness of your campaign, but also to damage your reputation as a forward-thinking company.

An Apple Watch screen, for example, is significantly smaller than the screen on an iPhone and displays less information as a result. Can you adapt your email marketing campaigns to accommodate that shift? Email is still a very important part of people’s lives. Not using it effectively as part of an integrated marketing program means you’re missing out on a channel most people use.

Brands will have to determine how to effectively market their messages in a “wearable” way, which is more personalized, concise, and fast. People need to connect quickly.

2. Will I actually benefit from the influx of data wearables provide?

Take a look at your current enterprise, and see if you can actually handle and leverage the data that will be at your disposal. Further, will the benefits the data provides be useful for your company, and do you have the team in place to interpret the data properly?

For example, if your sales team consistently deals with certain knowledge or communication gaps in its relationship with clients, wearable technology is a great way to plug those holes and strengthen the connection between your business and its customers. Let’s say your brand sells tires to car manufacturers. What if a client walked into your warehouse looking for a particular brand of tires? Your sales rep could look at her wearable device and tell your client exactly where the product is located and whether it’s in stock.

This kind of data could make your sales process much more efficient, but you must ensure you have the proper resources to fully utilize it before you dive in.

Wearable technology is about to spur a watershed moment in B2B marketing. Marketers who understand what wearables bring to the table (and who know how to utilize those components properly) not only widen their reach and strengthen their brand stories, but they also create smoother customer journeys. I fear those who don’t will find themselves struggling to play catch-up for the foreseeable future.

Sarah Clarkis the president of Mitchell, an award- winning public relations firm that creates real conversations between people,
businesses, and brands through strategic insights, customized conversations, and consumer engagement.

The Evolution of Wearables: Whats Coming Next?

By |January 7th, 2015|Forecasts (In-Depth)|

By: Kasey Stanton 07 January 2015

It didn’t take more than a few minutes on the show floor at the 2014 International CES to realize that wearables were branching out far beyond wrist-wear. Over the past few years, wearables have become the perfect vehicles to capture data on our everyday actions and turn that into info we can use to improve our personal health and fitness.

At the end of 2013, CEA research estimated that more than 40 million personal health and wellness products would sell in 2013 and that that figure would rise to more than 70 million by 2018. Although that trend continues to grow, over the course of this past year we also witnessed the application of wearables expand beyond the confines of the fitness category.

The adaptation of these sensors created the potential to use wearables not just as data collectors, but as companions. If you can track your steps and heart rate, why can’t you track eye movement? Or in the case of iPal, the lack of eye movement, thus preventing drivers whose eyelids start to get heavy from falling asleep at the wheel. How about if a wearable that can track facial expressions, allowing individuals with disabilities or devastating diseases to live life more independently? In 2014, we began to see these products not just as accessories but as life-changing devices.

That being said, the evolution of wearables by no means indicates the decline of the ever-dependable smartwatch. With the much-anticipated unveiling of the Apple Watch in September and the continuing improvement of fit bands from a variety of companies, there continues to be a very high demand for real estate on the wrist.

One of the most exciting aspects of CES, in my personal opinion, is witnessing the technology behind a fun, futuristic gadget transform into a potentially life-saving product. When a trend grows so quickly and with so much success, you know there is a greater potential to be uncovered. After 2014, we may have only just skimmed the surface of what’s possible for wearables.

Are you attending #CES2015? Come visit the Wearables Marketplace, presented by Living in Digital Times at the Sands.