Early March, Fitbit launched its latest smartwatch, Fitbit Versa, in India. The market also saw the launch of an analog digital smartwatch, Vivomove HR, with in-built wellness features by Garmin India.
As per reports by analyst firm International Data Corporation (IDC), fitness bands are the most popular devices holding the maximum market share in the category of wearables. Smartwatch is another very popular category among wearables; however, it holds a considerably lower market share as compared to fitness bands.
Says Reebok India senior marketing director Silvia Tallon, “With the ‘on the move’ lifestyle of young millennials, wearable technology has gained popularity due to its instantaneous and personal monitoring quality.” India is the world’s youngest nation with nearly 60% of population below the average age of 35 years. As disposable incomes increase, the young, fitness-conscious working class population is a hot target for wearables and fitness gadget brands.
“The growth is primarily being powered by the ‘lose weight’ category of people from India’s English-speaking population who are either already overweight or worried about becoming overweight,” adds Tushar Vashist, co-founder and CEO, Healthifyme.
The task for these brands at hand is to stand out from the clutter as most devices offer the same features. Brands are now taking cognisance of this situation and offering distinguished features in their products. For instance, the Mi Band 2 is equipped with the lighter and flexible OLED display that lets one view more in a glance. Apart from specifications, competitive pricing from Chinese vendors also has to be kept in mind.
Though urban areas contribute most to the sales, companies are witnessing increasing interest from smaller and fragmented markets, where there are early adopters of fitness. While many brands are available in offline stores in various cities — from retail chains for consumer electronics and durables to branded stores — digital still seems to be the main platform that contributes most to the sales. Being available across Amazon, Flipkart, as well as their own websites, helps brands to reach customers who are fitness enthusiasts but reside in tier II or III cities.
Globally, too, the wearables tech market has seen an upward trend. The growth is driven by two most popular categories — watches and wristbands. IDC sees the smartwatch market (which includes hybrid watches and fitness/GPS watches) climbing from 71.4 million devices in 2017 to 161 million in 2021.