Nielsen’s survey of nearly 4,000 respondents reveals that popularity of wearables is rapidly increasing and 15% of people who heard the term ‘wearables’ currently use one but high prices remain a barrier.
Industry behemoths like Google, Apple, Samsung, Sony and Huawei have been in news in recent times either for rolling out new wearables or making new product announcements.
With these biggies tripping over themselves trying to accelerate the wearable technology adoption with an intention to grab the biggest chunk of what they expect to be the next big thing, wearables still happens to be largely an emerging industry.
What do the consumers think about wearables?
How aware are they about them and are they willing to adopt the wearable technology?
A recent survey by the market research firm Nielsen brings some very positive news for wearable enthusiasts.
According to the Nielsen’s ‘Connected Life Report’:
- 70% of the 3,956 surveyed individuals are aware of wearable technology
- One in six or 15% of them are currently using at least one wearable technology product such as fitness bands and smart watches.
Given the ‘early adoption’ stage of wearable technology, these figures are not surprising for many industry watchers.
And indeed, three quarters of the users consider themselves as ‘early adopters’ and only 25% think of themselves as mainstream users of the wearable technology. These users also happen to have more disposable income with nearly one-third of them earning more than $100,000.
Nearly half of the respondents are young with age between 18 to 34 years and the survey reveals that men and women are equally likely to use wearable products.
Among the wearable technology devices, fitness bands are the most popular product category with 61% of respondents using them followed by smart watches (45%) and mobile health devices (17%).
When it comes to what motivates the consumers to buy wearables, the survey could not establish any common, across-the-industry factors and notes that what drives the buyers largely depends on the type of wearable technology device and their perceived benefits to the users.
57% of fitness band owners reported that the ability to self-monitor for reasons of health has been the biggest factor in making their purchase decision and interestingly, 35% of smart watch owners said that the purchase was to supplement their smartphone addiction.
What features consumers look for when choosing wearables depends on the type of device:
- Smart watch users rank durability (82%)
- Functionality (81%)
- Comfort (79%)
Whereas fitness band owners rate highly of:
- Durability (73%)
- Accuracy (70%)
- Battery life (64%)
The survey points to strong interest in the masses to adopt wearables with half the respondents expressing interest to buy a wearable technology device in the near future but high prices have been cited as a barrier.
72% of the users say that they wish wearables were less expensive.
Another important finding that could be of interest to wearable makers is that 62% said they wish wearables came in forms other than the usual wrist bands and watches, and 53% wanted wearable technology devices to look more fashionable like jewelry.
This perhaps would make the wearable technology device manufacturers to come up with newer and experimental forms of wearable designs.