South African millennial consumers’ adoption of wearable activity trackers: Extending the technology acceptance model

  • Chantel Muller


Wearable activity trackers (WATs) have become mainstream technology since they entered the market around 2009. This technology has transformed health and fitness monitoring by providing the user with metrics such as data on heart rate, sleep, calories expended, steps taken, distance covered, and advanced metrics for specific sports profiles and blood oxygen levels. Despite the global success of these devices, their overall adoption in the South African market has been slow, and there is little understanding of their adoption by the country’s millennial consumers, who are regarded as an emerging market for such items. This study extended the technology acceptance model (TAM) by adding perceived enjoyment and perceived cost, and proposes a new structural model of the factors driving South African millennial consumers’ intention to adopt WATs. A self-administered questionnaire was completed voluntarily by a non-probability convenience sample of 462 undergraduate male and female university students aged 18 to 24 years. These students were registered at a comprehensive university, traditional university and a university of technology, all situated in the Gauteng province of South Africa. Since a mall-intercept type of survey approach was followed, the participants were from various provinces of origin, faculties and fields of study, year level and racial groups. Data were analysed using SPSS and structural equation modelling (using AMOS) Versions 27.0 for Windows. The statistical analysis consisted of collinearity diagnostics, principal components analysis, descriptive statistics, one-sample t-test, and structural equation modelling (SEM), which comprised confirmatory factor analysis, internal-consistency and composite reliability analysis as well as validity (nomological, convergent and discriminant), and path analyses to test the hypotheses and generate an adoption model. The results revealed that attitude (β = 0.35, p = .000), perceived usefulness (β = 0.23, p = 0.000), and perceived enjoyment (β = 0.19, p = .003) were positively related, whereas perceived cost (β = -0.19, p = .000) and, interestingly, perceived ease of use (β = –0.17, p = .002) were negatively related to the South African millennial student consumers’ intention to adopt WATs. The adoption model generated in this study offers a useful guide for WAT manufacturers, marketers and distributors. It suggests that devices that are easy and fun to use, provide useful metrics, and are priced to emphasise value for money, are most likely to boost revenue for manufacturers and to increase adoption among South African consumers.


Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 2411-6939