Survey Finds Wearable Fitness Tracker Use Remains Low

With the profile of wearable fitness devices continuing to grow, the number of Americans using the new technology in their daily lives remains low, according to a recent survey by the research firm Brodeur Partners.

The survey found that only 12% of American adults use a wearable fitness device, with another 12% saying that they have tried one and stopped using it. However, findings from the company’s recent Health and Wellness survey also noted that more than half of wearable fitness device users have reported improvements in their fitness.

As a result of its research, the firm pinpointed three factors that still hinder sales and offered communication strategies to help marketers overcome such obstacles, especially as the category is projected to grow to 91.3 million shipments in 2016, up from 73 million in 2013, according to Gartner, a leading information technology research and advisory company.

• Outcome: According to the Brodeur, many Americans doubt that fitness wearables can help them become fitter/healthier. Brodeur suggested sharing studies, metrics and personal testimonials to demonstrate the efficacy of wearables.

• Affordability: While consumers shy away from the cost of a fitness tracker, Brodeur suggested marketers spotlight the value of the device, as opposed to the cost of a gym membership, for example.

• Smartphones: The firm said that many consumers choose to rely upon their smartphone for health and fitness tracking instead. The research firm suggested manufacturers highlight the compact/wearable form of trackers versus carrying a bulkier smartphone during activity.

“There is an opportunity for wearable fitness device makers to consider fresh, new strategies to increase wearables’ relevance with the mainstream consumer,” said Andrea Coville, CEO of Brodeur Partners, who also is author of the book Relevance: The Power to Change Minds and Behavior and Stay Ahead of the Competition. “Most Americans are already inundated and overloaded with too many devices and too much information. The challenge is to show that they work – and work affordably in a way that smartphones can’t.”