Even if you’ve only been paying the least attention, you’ve probably noticed the surge of wearable tech devices over the past year or so. Tablets, recently the darling of consumer focus and marketing, are out while wrist-related gadgets are in. The competition is enormous, as companies announce their entry into the market or leak details about an upcoming release.
All this activity leads one believe that fitness trackers and smartwatches are the next big thing. But while awareness of wearable tech has increased, people just aren’t buying. To make matters worse, a recent study by Endeavor Partners indicates that a third of people who own one abandon them after just six months. By the two year mark, more than 50 percent of owners have abandoned their wearable gadget.
The survey of thousands of Americans tells us that one in ten over the age of 18 owns a modern activity tracker. Endeavor Partners found that younger age groups tend to focus on fitness, while older people are more concerned with overall health. They also discovered what tech companies aren’t telling anyone; consumers quit using these wearables regardless of age or intent.
It’s said that it takes 30 days to create a habit and 60 days to make it a lifestyle. We can expect that those who stop using a fitness tracker aren’t giving up on their workout routine too. It just means that the device fails to deliver sustained usefulness. The survey indicates that products focusing on data (minutes exercising, steps taken, etc), without also inspiring action, tend to fail in the market.
The road ahead isn’t an easy one for those companies dedicated to wearable products. The study highlights 12 criteria that need to be met for success: nine for adoption and short-term use, and three for long-term engagement. The research suggests that a low score in any one area is sufficient to prevent the product from achieving long-term utilization. The message is pretty clear, especially since it’s the early adopters that have been the ones abandoning their wearables.