Who’s Wearing Wearables? Number of Kiwis owning Wearable Technology Doubles in 12 months

Who’s Wearing Wearables? Number of Kiwis owning Wearable Technology Doubles in 12 months

Today, 393,000 Kiwis aged over 15 wear a device on their wrist that can do more than tell the time. A status symbol, motivational fitness piece and functional gadget all in one, these smart devices are attached to their owners 24/7, providing new ways for brands to connect with consumers.

The number of wearable device owners is rising exponentially in New Zealand. Nielsen Consumer and Media Insights (CMI) data shows that in the past 12 months, the number of wearable technology owners has almost doubled (+93%) and now represents 9% of the online population aged over 15. This small but rapidly growing group of early adopters are wealthy, active, focused on their image and style, and are partial to the finer things in life.

Around one-in-two wearable technology owners are aged between 20-39 years and are most likely to be independent young adults or adults with young children. Their personal income is 16% higher than the national average. Wearable devices are particularly popular with Wellingtonians.

Wearable technology owners are career-driven. Forty-two percent say they want to get to the top in their career. They are also more likely to say their work is more than a job, their work colleagues are among their best friends, and that they often respond to emails at home and on the weekend.

This group of consumers also live and breathe active lifestyles. Six-in-10 (59%) say exercise is an important part of their regular routine and 25% go to the gym at least twice a week. Around three-in-four (73%) say they try to balance healthy eating with their busy lifestyle.

Wearable device owners are more inclined than average to flaunt their personal sense of style and upkeep an image associated with their high wealth status. Two in five (41%) say they take care of their appearance at all times, while 21% say they have to have the latest gadgets.

Their love of fancy things extends to their food choices. Two-in-three (66%) of wearable device owners like to try new types of food, and 27% call themselves food connoisseurs.

With a convenient, mobile device that is attached to them at all times, along with their high disposable income and openness to try new things, wearable device owners are a lucrative consumer group for marketers. Brands can connect directly with their consumers while on-the-go, reaching them at any point during the day. Their high-exposure lifestyle also presents abundant opportunities for outdoor, cinema and mobile advertising. Wearable devices provide a new way for brands to tap into and influence their consumers on a one-on-one engagement, reaching and captivating their audience by sharing relevant, targeted content through a personal channel.


In this environment, breadth of understanding of consumer attitudes, media consumption and their day to day behaviours is essential. Nielsen Consumer and Media Insights provides views of consumers you want to identify, understand and then reach. Meaning you don’t rely on too narrow a view of a customer. The data is gathered via an independently audited survey of 11,000 New Zealanders aged 10+. It uses mixed methodology of face-to-face (75%) and online (25%) interviews, combined with a self-completion diary. The sample is then weighted to Statistics NZ population data for national representation.