Fitbit caters to corporations, and not just with discounted fitness trackers

Fitbit's growth among businesses nearly matches consumer use, said CFO Bill Zerella

Executives of FitBit show off their FitBit wearables at the New York Stock Exchange ahead of the beginning of trading of company stock on June 18, 2015.

Executives of FitBit show off their FitBit wearables at the New York Stock Exchange ahead of the beginning of trading of company stock on June 18, 2015.

Fitbit is known for selling fitness trackers to consumers, but the company also sees its fortunes in the enterprise market.

"We think virtually every company will incorporate fitness trackers into their corporate wellness programs," Fitbit CFO Bill Zerella said Tuesday.

Businesses are using wellness programs to increase employee productivity, decrease the number of sick days workers take and potentially reduce health care costs, Zerella said during a session at the Pacific Crest Global Technology Leadership Forum.

In fact, Fitbit's device growth among businesses rivals consumer use, he said, adding that companies of all sizes use Fitbit wearables.

Some customers include IBM, Quicken Loans and insurance provider Geico, Fitbit CEO James Park said last week in the company's second quarter earnings report.

Fitbit sold 4.5 million devices during the quarter, although the company didn't say how many were bought by businesses.

Since this was Fitbit's first earnings report since going public in June, it's impossible to make a comparison with device sales from the year-ago quarter. However, in a filing with U.S. government regulators, Fitbit said it sold 3.9 million devices in the first three months of this year.

Businesses don't require specialized trackers so Fitbit's existing product lineup suits enterprises, Zerella said during the conference, which was webcast. Fitbit wearables cost between US$60 to $250 and offer basic functions like step counting, as well as more advanced features like GPS tracking.

Corporate customers, though, have different software needs than consumers, so Fitbit offers an enterprise software platform on a subscription basis, Zerella said. Consumers already have access to a Web portal and mobile app that contain their data and can purchase a premium software package for $50 a year.

Zerella didn't explain the differences between the enterprise and consumer software products, and the company didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

For enterprise users, Fitbit handles all logistics like shipping trackers to employees and emailing them log-in information to access the Web portal where their data is stored. "It's not just cutting a deal to sell trackers at a discount to companies," he said.

For now, overall device sales exceed the revenue brought in by enterprise software subscriptions, Zerella said. However, he didn't rule out that over the long term, revenue from software could become more prominent compared to device sales.

Fitbit has what Zerella called the largest database of biometric data in the world, but the company won't sell that information to outside companies.

That doesn't mean Fitbit won't try to monetize that data in some capacity. In addition to using the data for improving products and algorithms, Fitbit will analyze it to learn customer behavior and recommend other wearables based on those patterns, Zerella said.

"There's a lot of data we have that allows us to potentially discern what products they might be interested in," especially around upgrading to other Fitbit models, he said.

Judging by Zerella's remarks, Fitbit is just getting started trying to figure out how to find value in user data.

"There's a lot of ways to use the data and frankly it's not an area that we're leveraging much today," he said.

Fred O'Connor writes about IT careers and health IT for The IDG News Service. Follow Fred on Twitter at @fredjoconnor. Fred's e-mail address is fred_o'connor@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags consumer electronicsFitbit

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Fred O'Connor

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Bang and Olufsen Beosound Stage - Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14

Learn more >

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch

Learn more >

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player

Learn more >

SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?