Wearable devices need to be more useful

Abandonment rates for smartwatches is 29 per cent and 30 per cent for fitness trackers, a new survey from Gartner has revealed. Users are discarding their wearables because they don’t find them useful, or they get bored of the device. 

Gartner’s Personal Technologies Study surveyed 9,592 online people in the US, UK and Australia between June and August 2016 and also discovered that consumers believe wearable prices are too high. Only 34 per cent of respondents purchased one of these devices for themselves. 

Gartner research director Angela McIntyre said: “Continued growth in the adoption of smartwatches and fitness trackers will now be from mainstream consumers instead of early technology adopters.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."

The survey points out that smartwatch adoption is still in infancy whilst fitness trackers have performed much better in the mainstream consumer market.

McIntyre explains how wearable device vendors can improve the appeal of their devices: “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 survey also suggests that the design of fitness trackers and smartwatches needs to be much more appealing to consumers. 

This is something the research and advisory company believes can be remedied, and recommends wearables vendors partner with companies that design, market and build brand awareness around products. Such companies should also have established retail channels, making selling wearable devices easier.

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