Health Tracking the Primary Reason People Buy Wearables, Study Says

Apple and Fitbit topped the list of brands buyers were eyeing

Health tracking is the primary reason consumers are in the market for wearable devices, according to international internet-based market research firm YouGov, which polled 3,000 people (of which a third already owned a wearable) for its November 2016 tech report

The study found that 13 percent of consumers say they’re likely to buy a wearable fitness device “either for themselves or as a gift for someone else.” Around 12 percent of shoppers said they’re looking for a smartwatch, while 8 percent say they’re interested in smart wear (tech-enhanced clothes).

The report adds, “Depending on the specific device, 8–10 percent of these purchases are expected to take place during the holiday season.” If the data is close to correct, roughly 7 million U.S. adults will buy a wearable in November and December.

Fitbit and Apple tied as the most popular wearable, with 22 percent of respondents showing interest in “choosing a product from Fitbit, known for its fitness tracker,” and another 22 percent opting for an Apple Watch. Samsung came in third, with 17 percent expressing interest in a device from the brand. Google (5 percent), LG (4 percent), and Garmin (3 percent) were also coveted.

The report further stated that “72 percent of people likely to buy their first wearable device plan on doing some research before settling on a specific model. This includes everything from reading consumer product reviews to asking family, friends, and colleagues for advice.”

Of the many features available in wearable devices, 56 percent of participants cited the “ability to track a user’s heart rate” as the most important feature; 54 percent said the “ability to track fitness measures, such as steps taken and calories consumed”; while 51 percent cited the “ability to display time and date” as paramount. 

(Illustrations courtesy of Gartner)

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