Abandonment rate of smartwatches is 29 per cent, and fitness trackers 30 per cent, as people find little use with these fragile devices, a Gartner survey has found. “The abandonment rate of smartwatches is 29 per cent, and 30 per cent for fitness trackers, because people do not find them useful, they get bored of them or they break,” research firm Gartner’s survey said underlining the need for more compelling value proposition to drive greater adoption of such devices.
Terming the dropout from device usage as a “serious problem” for the industry, Angela McIntyre, research director at Gartner said that the abandonment rate is “quite high relative to the usage rate”. “To offer a compelling enough value proposition, the uses for the wearable devices need to be distinct from what smartphones typically provide. Wearables makers need to engage users with incentives and gamification,” McIntyre added.
The Gartner personal technologies study surveyed 9,592 online respondents from Australia, the US and the UK between June and August 2016 to track consumers’ attitudes towards wearables, particularly buying behaviour for smartwatches, fitness trackers and virtual reality (VR) glasses.
The survey found that smartwatch adoption is still in the early adopter stage (10 per cent), while fitness trackers have reached early mainstream (19 per cent). Only eight per cent of consumers had used VR glasses/head-mounted displays (excluding cardboard versions).
The survey found that people typically purchase smartwatches and fitness trackers for their own use, with 34 per cent of fitness trackers and 26 per cent 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 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, she added. Survey respondents indicated that wearable devices are priced too high, in relation to their perceived usefulness.
This provides an opportunity to wearable providers who do not have a strong brand name to come out with good quality alternatives priced significantly lower than the top brands, it pointed out.
According to the Gartner survey, the US is leading smartwatch usage at 12 per cent, with the UK at 9 per cent and Australia at 7 per cent. US also led fitness tracker usage at 23 per cent, with the UK at 15 per cent and Australia at 19 per cent.