18% Own A Wearable Fitness Tracker, 61% Don't Want One

The marketing of fitness trackers to consumers seems to be paying off.

While still relatively high, the number of people who don’t own or plan to buy a fitness tracker in the next year has declined.

The number of people who own a fitness tracker has now reached 18%, based on a new, large study.

The study was conducted by CivicScience and comprised an online questionnaire answered by 47,000 U.S. adults over the last two years and weighted to U.S. Census figures.

Overall, more than half (58%) of adults say wearable activity will become more popular or stay the same over the next year. Here’s the overall view of how adults see wearable activity/fitness trackers in popularity over the next year:

  • 34% -- More popular
  • 24% -- Stay the same
  • 14% -- Less popular
  • 28% -- Not sure

The majority (61%) of those who don’t own a fitness tracker have no intent to buy one in the next year, compared to 71% last year.

On the other side, 7% are likely to purchase one along with the 18% who already have one.

The numbers behind that 18% who already own fitness trackers may give pause to marketers, since activity involving the trackers is split. Of those who own, 10% say they use the fitness tracker often but the other 8% say they don’t use it much.

You likely know someone who got a fitness tracker, either as a purchase of a gift, who tried it for a period of time and then tossed it into a drawer.

This could be one of the reason that more features, converting trackers into watches and social network-motivating tools, are being added by the Fitbits of the world.

It could be somewhat challenging to get a former fitness tracker user to try it a second time around if they weren’t happy with their initial experience.

Demographically, of those who plan to purchase a fitness tracker, most are female. Here’s the breakdown of those in the market for a fitness tracker:

  • 64% -- Women
  • 41% -- Parents
  • 36% -- Millennial

By income level, those planning to buy are in a similar income level to the general population.

Many of those with fitness trackers are active, as you might expect. For example, 51% of fitness tracker owners exercise several times a week.

Conversely, 52% of those without a fitness tracker exercise almost never or never.

It looks like the exercise is a potential driver of sales. Almost half (45%) of those who plan to buy a fitness tracker already exercise several times a week.

At the very least, it looks like ‘fitness tracker’ at least is the right description of this category of IoT device.


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