What Do Smartwatch Buyers Want?

Surveys are some of the most interesting pieces of research I get to carry out at CCS Insight, and our User Survey: Smartwatches, 2022 is no exception. It provides valuable insight on how smartwatch owners are using their devices, what users love about them and where they want to see improvements. I’ll be running a free webinar on 8 December to unpack our findings, exploring the problems smartwatch companies need to solve to attract new buyers and existing users’ attitudes toward their devices.

Why did owners buy their smartwatch in the first place? What do they think about their devices and how much use are they getting out of them? What are they using their smartwatch for?

We found there’s a variety of reasons why first-time buyers and existing users buy new smartwatches, but health tracking is the main motivator for both groups. Given that this area has been a hotbed of innovation for the smartwatch market, this is perhaps unsurprising. This carries through to how owners use their devices too, with heart-health tracking in particular being a really high engagement area.

We also found that the abandonment rate for smartwatches is extremely low, with nearly all owners using their device on a regular basis. This is of course good news for manufacturers — a highly engaged user is more likely to upgrade and even evangelize about their chosen device. Indeed, non-owners reported that they most frequently learn about smartwatches through word of mouth.

This isn’t to say owners are completely happy with their devices. Across all brands, users are frustrated with their smartwatch’s battery life. There are also plenty of additional features that they want to see on future devices, from helping to predict and manage medical conditions to real-time language translation. Smartwatches already track so many metrics, but it seems there are still plenty of areas in which users want to see improvements and developments.

Our survey also shows that smartwatches are of great interest to non-owners, with around half of respondents having considered buying one in the past. Most were ultimately put off by high prices: clearly for many, smartwatches don’t yet offer enough to justify the investment. Beyond lower prices, longer battery life and better health features are the two improvements most likely to convince those currently unwilling to buy.

This survey is a fascinating look at the main dynamics of the smartwatch market. But the highlights I’ve outlined here offer a glimpse of what’s offered in the full report. If you’d like deeper insights and exclusive data about this dynamic market, sign up here for my webinar taking place on 8 December at 16:00 GMT (11:00 EST).