Why fitness band manufacturers need to do more to keep consumers engaged


According to Argus Insights, demand growth in the US wearables market has slowed down after a post-holidays peak in January 2015. Yet consumer feedback volume grew significantly from 2014 to the first half of 2015.

The report used data from around 328,000 consumer reviews since January 2014 and found that interest in wearables declined for a short while after the 2013 holiday season, before picking up and peaking in January 2015. Interest in wearables rose fourfold over this period, but demand has slowed since then. The market has started maturing and grown significantly in the last 18 months, according to the report.

Apple Watch was on top in terms of consumer interest when it was announced in September 2014 – before being unveiled in March 2015 – outranking other wearables like Fitbit. However, consumer interest in Fitbit started growing back after details of the Apple Watch were announced. The 2014 holiday period eventually proved strong for Fitbit and other wearables, and consumer interest in Fitbit has continued to grow since its IPO was launched.

Apple is gaining ground while Fitbit is seeing a drop in customer satisfaction

The report measured consumer delight in terms of volume and content of consumer reviews, and found that Fitbit was among the highest scores. However, Apple is gaining ground while Fitbit is seeing a drop in customer satisfaction. Motorola and LG also saw high consumer happiness scores, indicating that consumers are more satisfied with smartwatches than fitness bands.

John Feland, CEO and founder, Argus Insights, said, "Our analysis of review volume for the wearables market correlates directly with unit sales volume, and we have seen a significant slowing in consumer demand for both wearables in general and fitness bands in particular."

"Consumers expect their wearables to do more than simply count steps, just as they expect to do more than just make phone calls with their handsets,” he added. “It is clear that as the Apple Watch, the Moto 360, and the LG Watch Urbane outperform fitness bands in the hearts of consumers. Fitbit and others in this category will need to add more to their offerings to keep consumers engaged and coming back for more."

According to figures issued by IDC in August, Apple contributed the second highest number of wearable device shipments in Q215, narrowly behind Fitbit.


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