Influencers 2014: Fitbit says investment is needed to grow emerging technology categories

Welcome to Influencers, our annual series that speaks with the heads of retailers, suppliers and industry bodies to find out what is happening in appliances and electronics and how different companies are shaping its future.

Steve Morley is the general manager ANZ & SE Asia of Fitbit. He’s here to tell us why the fitness craze is taking off and how the industry needs to support emerging technology trends.

Strong growth: Steve Morley.

Strong growth: Steve Morley.

How has the first half of 2014 been for your business?

Outstanding. The fitness wearables category itself has grown impressively in the last 12 months and Fitbit has experienced 2.5 times growth compared against the same period last year. This has been driven by an increasing share within a category that continues to see rapid growth.

What are your predictions for the second half of the year?

We predict a step-change in growth for fitness wearables as product choice grows. Juniper research on world spending for wearable tech predicts a growth from $1.4 billion to $3 billion over the next year alone and Fitbit is proud to be the market leader, driving growth in the Connected Health and Fitness category.

What opportunities do you see for the electrical retailing industry?

To execute this exciting new category in a delightful way for consumers in store; to make the category a pleasure to shop.

What threats are currently present in the industry?

Insufficient investment in the critical things that sell products: people, in-store merchandising, an online experience to rival other industries, and a lack of investment by brands in their Australian businesses. I believe they are connected.

What is your favourite product of 2014 so far?

Fitbit’s outstanding range aside, I love my Adonit pen, which allows me to take handwritten notes and draw on my iPad.

Do it with stylus: Adonit.

Do it with stylus: Adonit.

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