Every year around CES, Accenture releases a big global consumer survey about the consumer electronics market, asking about things like purchase intent. (We’ve written about it in years past.) If you’re in the consumer wearables business, they say, 2016 may be a bumpy ride.
John Curran, the managing director of Accenture’s Communications, Media and Technology group, briefed Wearable Tech Insider at CES. He says purchase intent in what the company calls “IoT devices” (smartwatches, fitness trackers, personal drones, and smart home stuff) is expected to grow by about 1 percent this year. For smartwatches and fitness trackers, 13 percent of the 28,000 respondents said they planned to buy one this year, compared to 12 percent last year. But what’s particularly interesting is what’s keeping people out of the market.
Lack of a use case turns out to be less of a big deal; only 23 percent said they’re not sure which device is right for them. More than three out of five — 62 percent — think that the devices are too expensive, and nearly half (47 percent) are worried about privacy and security.
The security finding is new. Of the people worried about data risk, a quarter of them are postponing a purchase, and 20 percent have quit using their device entirely until they know their data is safe. There is some geographic weighting to this: People in Indonesia, South Africa, and China — all countries with histories of authoritarian and repressive governments — were particularly concerned.
To spur the market, Accenture recommends that wearables vendors either cut their prices or figure out a more compelling value proposition, improve customer experience, and find ways to build trust.
(This is part of our coverage of CES 2016. For more, click on the “CES2016” tag near this article.)