Smart homes are currently defined as any home that has more than one internet-connected device, such as a TV, lights, appliances, locks, thermostats, cameras, and more—though we suspect that definition will continue to evolve. With companies like Amazon and Google coming out with new and improved smart home technology, we can expect more consumers to adopt the use of these devices in their home. Market estimations based on prior sales growth will be one way brands predict the future of smart home device adoption, but evaluating the potential growth based on insights from the consumers themselves can be far more enlightening.
Applying Consumer Insights
Luckily, there are already key insights the industry can apply to determine where growth in the smart home space can be anticipated—even specific to the various categories and types of products available in the market. These insights come from two research reports on the smart home consumer based recent studies we conducted.
The research includes an exploratory phase combined with a quantitative phase on the attitudes and usage of consumers when it comes to smart home technology. The results show a variety of interesting insights when it comes to consumers’ perceptions and anticipated smart home device adoption and preferences. Further, the findings help shed light on the messaging and communication tactics brands can use to increase adoption.
Consumer Perceptions of Smart Home Devices
First and foremost, consumers feel smart home devices must embody connectivity, convenience, and usefulness. For example, consumers enjoy when their smart devices can communicate with one another, as is the case with the Internet of Things. This connectivity can allow for easier set-up or use of the devices. The convenience and usefulness of devices go hand in hand; consumers feel smart home devices are most useful if they can be used in convenient ways such as when they are hands-free or voice-activated.
Consumers are also adamant in their requests when it comes to new innovations and their unmet needs in the smart home space. They’re asking for automatic solutions that help manage life or make life easier while being offered at affordable prices. Laundry help, meal prep, pet care, or help with household chores such as cleaning are a few of the ideas consumers provided, specific to new smart home devices.
Consumer Adoption of Smart Home Devices
Many consumers already own at least one smart home device, such as a smart TV. However, the majority also intend to purchase another smart home device in the future. Specifically, 54% of consumers said they plan to purchase a smart home device in the next year.
The top industries with which they intend to purchase from include the security and entertainment categories. Video doorbells, smart TVs, remote video surveillance devices, and gaming consoles are just a few of the specific products consumers intend to purchase in these categories.
However, when it comes to purchasing any smart home device there are certain barriers consumers will have to overcome. For roughly a third of consumers, the cost of devices is a concern, but as more brands enter the market and develop more innovative and cost-effective solutions, we can anticipate the cost will go down. The more important barriers smart device companies will need to overcome include data privacy and hacking—unsurprisingly these concerns translate from consumers’ internet usage to all of their connected smart devices.
As noted, there is a proliferation of smart technology in daily life, and consumers clearly see the benefits of controlling and monitoring their homes—with a few caveats. And based on unmet needs, companies in a variety of industries will continue experimenting with smart home products and services. There will surely be more effort put into understanding what types of smart products and services have the most promise among consumers, but for now, this provides a good starting point.