Survey: One third of wearable device owners stopped using them within six months

By: Aditi Pai | Apr 3, 2014        

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Wearable surveyA third of consumers who own a wearable device stopped using it within six months, according to consulting firm Endeavour Partners’  September 2013 survey of 500 adults. Additionally, more than half of consumers who own one no longer use it.

The researchers received responses from 6,223 consumers in the United States about whether they owned a “modern activity tracker”, which they described as devices similar to Jawbone, Fitbit, Nike, and Misfit Wearables. And of those, 500 responded that they did own such a device. The age group with the largest percentage of activity trackers owners is the 25-to 34-year-old range (25 percent). After that, 35- to 44-year-olds made up 19 percent of the wearable owning population, and 18 to 24 group made up 17 percent. Given the 3 to 4 percent margin of error, the differences between these age groups could be quite small.

“The lack of long-term utilization raises the stakes for any company incorporating wearables and related data into its products or services,” the survey reads. “It’s not enough to sync with, link to, or work alongside one of the current devices on the market, or to partner with one of the many startups to design an even better device. Designing a strategy to ensure sustained engagement is the key to long-term success in this highly competitive space.”

Endeavor Partners Principal Dan Ledger told MobiHealthNews in an email that the company worked with a consumer research service to conduct the survey, which was administered online exclusively.

Another recent surveythis one from Nielsen’s Connected Life Report, found 15 percent of consumers who know the term “wearable” — and are either already users of “connected life technologies” or interested in them — are wearing one. This survey had 3,956 respondents and was conducted last November. Of those who owned a device, 61 percent owned fitness wristbands, which were distinct from people who owned smartwatches, 45 percent. And in a broader undefined “mobile health device” category, 17 percent of people owned a device.

  • Rick Meider

    I sincerely hope that the “activity tracker” community is provided more research like this, that points directly to “sustainable engagement” and use….even with or without an incentive. (although, I can’t believe that any of the activity tracker companies have not already conducted their own use case research regarding sustainable use…… but have not released the finding….for obvious reasons) We developed a corporate wellness platform that was device agnostic and our research and actual findings were in line with this article. The device companies must recognize that the device is only part of the solution, actually an enabler to capture data. (yes, the carrying solution is important) I believe the most important aspect of the “activity tracker” is “what do you do with the data” without simply graphically displaying steps, heart rate, estimated calories, etc. By incorporating the captured data and adding compelling features like, gamification, real time coaching, incentives, social networking, and a real time rules based analytic engine, a company with then address moving from extrinsic to the intrinsic motivation and thereby extend the actual term of use of the tracker. It’s not ONLY about the device!