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Have wearable devices and smart clothing been on the market for some time now? Yes. Have consumers been buying them? Not really. But that’s expected to change, in oh, five years or so.
AYTM Market Research polled 1,000 US internet users ages 18 and older in February 2017 and asked them if they ever purchased smart clothing or wearable devices. While roughly one in five respondents said they purchased at least one item, a large share—about three-quarters—said they had never purchased any.
But many said they are at least somewhat likely to buy either smart clothing or wearables within the next five years. In fact, nearly half of respondents surveyed said that was their plan.
Over a quarter (26.0%) weren’t sure if they planned to do so or not, and another 27.6% said they were at least somewhat unlikely to buy smart clothing or wearables within the next five years.
Though the AYTM study found there is some interest among consumers to purchase a wearable device in the future, there’s a sign of weakness in the wearables market—as wearables makers struggle to sell their devices.
The wearables market has fallen short of expectations. And with data showing sales and shipments slowing, eMarketer in December 2016 slashed its growth outlook for wearables in the US.
Forget the notion that Gen X is a small market: It isn't. The real problem for marketers is that Xers—though now earning and spending more per household than other generations—are financially stressed. The good news? Their digital usage, along with their TV viewing, makes them eminently reachable.
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