Pandemic accelerates wearables market in Brazil

Sales of devices saw 21% growth in the second quarter of 2020 as consumers worry about sedentary lifestyles, according to a new study.

The wearables market in Brazil has seen an acceleration during the second quarter of 2020, according to new numbers from market analyst firm IDC.

Sales of devices grew by 21.1% between April and June in Brazil compared to the second quarter of 2019. During the period, 208,350 fitbands and smartwatches were sold, according to the report.

The movement seen in the second quarter saw a spike in consumption with some manufacturers reporting sales records, given the concern of consumers with sedentary lifestyles in the pandemic. Revenue from April to June this year reached 301 million reais (US$ 42 million) according to the research company.

The average ticket of wearables in Brazil also rose, driven by a spike of the US dollar against the Brazilian real. Fitbands in Brazil cost, on average, 810 reais (US$ 145) while smartwatches cost 2128 reais (US$ 381), an increase of 121.4% and 45.4%, respectively, compared to the same period last year.

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"Second quarter results could have been even better if it wasn't for the impact caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the increase in exchange rates, but even so the results were a positive surprise", says Renato Meireles, research analyst and consultant for consumer devices at IDC Brazil.

According to Meireles, online channels were key to the positive performance of the segment. "Wearables were already enjoying a positive sales performance in e-commerce and, with the closure of physical stores due to the pandemic, demand was even greater", he said.

The sale of wearables may have been driven by other sectors, according to the analyst, citing the rise in uptake in cycling as an example: "Consumers who bought a bike and other accessories may also have included a fitband or a smartwatch to monitor performance", he added.

The wearables market is becoming more sophisticated, according to another study from IDC from July 2019, which noted that Brazilians are looking to buy products with greater quality and more features, as well as warranty and support. At the time, the analyst firm also reported that sales of unknown brands had collapsed and noted there was an expectation that there would be a move towards massification and a reduction in the average ticket.

Around $20bn a year will be spent on wearable devices, health trackers and remote patient-monitoring devices within five years, according to tech research company Juniper Research.