Get a demo Do I subscribe? News sign-up
Print

Consumers sceptical on wearables

News, 06 March 2015

LONDON: Wearable technology may have featured prominently at this week's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona but six in ten UK adult consumers say they have no intention of buying a wearable device according to a new survey.

Experiential agency Fizz commissioned a survey of 2,000 people, carried out by One Poll, exploring attitudes towards wearable technology. This found that 61% of respondents wouldn't buy a wearable device, with most of these simply failing to see the need (37%).

A further 15% dismissed them as a fad, Marketing Week reported, while the remainder were evenly divided between thinking they wouldn't work or would break easily and "other reasons".

"Companies are relying on their brands and the premise that just by bringing something out, people will buy it," suggested Jill Pinner, Fizz founder.

That may well work for Apple, whose devoted fanbase is likely to be attracted to its first smartwatch which goes on sale next month. And it is already by far the most recognisable piece of wearable tech, as 48% of respondents to the Fizz survey were aware of it.

Google, however, has decided that isn't necessarily the case, having pulled its Glass product after years of development, testing and excited media coverage. Although the launch of the Android Wear operating system shows it has certainly not abandoned the sector.

Referring to the most popular form of wearable tech, fitness bands, Pinner observed: "Unless people are heavily into fitness, they need to be told why they need these things."

And not only why they need them but how to use them: when asked what would make them more likely to buy wearable tech in store, 41% of respondents cited the ability to touch the product or try it on. And once again, Apple may have an edge here with its chain of flagship stores around the world.

In-store demonstrations (31%) and expert knowledge from sales assistants (28%) were also important, indicating that there is much consumer education to be done with regard to these products.

"There needs to be better marketing of wearables online, to help people that are researching these products, and that needs to dovetail with the experience in-store," Pinner advised.

Beyond that, she felt the sector needed a "big bang" campaign to properly communicate the benefits of wearable technology.

Data sourced from Marketing Week; additional content by Warc staff