Fun versus Function

Men Buy Wearables for Tech Appeal While Women Buy for the Benefits

15% of men and 12% of women plan to buy a fitness tracker in 2014. Men are primarily driven by the appeal of new technology, while women mostly intend to buy one to get fit

60% of men consider themselves early adopters of technology, admitting to being the first amongst their friends to buy the latest electronic devices. This is a stark contrast to 41% of women who refrain from purchasing the latest technology until it is established and proven. This is according to recent research from technology and tech analysts CCS Insight.

The research surveyed 4,000 people in the UK, the US, China and Brazil on their perceptions of wearable technology including usage patterns, awareness and current ownership, revealing some significant differences between men and women’s attitudes to wearable devices.

For men interested in these gadgets, purchases are primarily driven by the thought of owning new technology; in contrast women interested in wearables say they’ll buy the device to get fit or help lose weight.

“When it comes to wearable tech, it’s clear that men will purchase devices because they are the newest shiny items on the shelf, while women are much more interested in the functionality of devices and the benefits they can bring to their lives” said George Jijiashvili, wearables analyst at CCS Insight. “Consumer electronics companies need to make sure they’re marketing these devices in ways that fit with how and why people buy and use them.”

Key findings of the survey are included below.

Men think they are more tech-savvy and are more likely to purchase a wearable device

  • More men see themselves as early adopters of technology than women. 60% of men considered themselves as early adopters, versus 51% of women.
  • Similarly, more men said they expect to buy a wearable device by the end of the year than women.
    • 16% of men and 10% of women said that they expect to buy a smartwatch this year.
    • 15% of men and 12% of women said they expect to buy a fitness tracker this year.

Awareness of wearables is high, but few have bought or used one

  • In the UK and the US, 75% of respondents are aware of smartwatches, compared with 63% in CCS Insight’s 2013 survey. But only 3% of people own and use one, while 2% own one but no longer use it.
  • In the UK and the US, 75% of respondents are aware of fitness trackers, an increase on the 54% who said they were aware of them in CCS Insight’s 2013 survey. But only 6% are using them, while 7% own one but no longer use it.

Fitness trackers are under threat from smartwatches and smartphones

  • Of those fitness tracker users who said they don’t plan to upgrade their existing wearable device, 22% said they’d use a smartphone to do perform the same function and 14% said they plan to use a smartwatch.

About CCS Insight

CCS Insight is a global analyst company focussing on the mobile, Internet and media industries. It provides comprehensive services that are tailored to meet the needs of individual clients, helping them make sense of the connected world. Follow CCS Insight on Twitter.

For further information contact:

Hugo Deacon
0207 861 2842

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