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Note: This article was originally published on the CivicScience blog on August 24, 2015. 

Although ownership rates of wearable fitness trackers are forecasted to peak by the end of 2016, there are a handful of shoppers still interested in purchasing an activity tracker. According to Eddie Hold, Vice President of The NPD Group’s Connected Intelligence Team:

I think it’s important to note that the market is healthy. While ownership will start to flatten out, we’re still talking about a significant portion of the population – and there is still the desire for a simple activity tracker vs a full-scale smartwatch.”

In an Insight Report published today, we outline consumers’ popularity predictions of fitness trackers over the next year and also profile the likely wearable consumer, providing fitness band manufacturers, marketers, and advertisers with a more holistic view of the potential consumer.

Since late September 2014, we have been collecting data on U.S. adult consumers’ thoughts on the future popularity of wearable fitness trackers.

Based on the trendline data, adults who believe fitness trackers will become more popular is declining. In Q3 2014, 37% of adults believed fitness trackers would become more popular, however in Q3 2015, that number dropped to 31% of adults. And those who believe popularity will decrease as well as those who believe it will remain the same has increased by four percentage points and six percentage points respectively. However, given the overall popularity levels and the gradual decline in consumers’ popularity predictions, there’s still an opportunity for activity / fitness tracker manufacturers to convert potential buyers into owners and keep interest levels up.

In late June 2015, we launched another wearable activity / fitness tracker question on our polling platform in order to track U.S. adult consumers’ likelihood of purchasing a wearable fitness tracker.

After combining those who want to upgrade and those who are likely to purchase, 13% of adults are in the market for a fitness tracker, with the potential of more from those who are unsure yet. Here are a few key takeaways from the report:

  • Women with a higher income are more likely to be in the market for an activity tracker.
  • They have a higher liklihood of having children and owning their own business, so their time to do research and learning to use a new product is probably limited.
  • They are very health and fitness-oriented individuals and enjoy sports.
  • Potential buyers’ personal financial situation is expected to improve over the next 6 months.

Although wearable fitness / activity tracker popularity is slowing declining, there is still an opportunity to reach consumers on the fence about purchasing a wearable tracker.