The internet of things is gradually becoming a reality, and the ‘smart home’ is one of the most important developments facilitated by these new connected devices. The concept is now beginning to reach the mainstream, with consumers investing in a host of appliances with internet capabilities – from speakers to thermostats, from microwaves to dishwashers.
YouGov’s latest research reveals the biggest growth areas, and where the opportunities lie for brands and marketers. Here’s a summary of what it found.
Amazon dominates the smart speaker market
Smart speaker technology is taking off faster than any other device type, with 11% of the population now owning one. Amazon’s huge advertising investment behind Echo means its device now dominates the market, with a 69% share.
This puts it 50 percentage points ahead of its nearest rival, Google Home.
Convenience is the key appeal
Making life easier is the number one reason people are drawn to connected home devices, with 38% of smart speaker owners giving it as a reason for buying.
Yet there is still a big barrier for manufacturers to overcome, as 30% say they ‘don’t find smart appliances appealing’, even though they already own one.
Affluent ecommerce enthusiasts are more likely to buy
Smart device owners are more likely than average to be high earners in households of three or more, while attitudes they over index on include the willingness to ‘splash out on products I don’t need’ and a fondness for shopping through mobile apps.
They are also more likely than the average person to say digital ads led to their purchase.
Most smart thermostat functions go unused
Loading up devices with functionality may not be the best way to maximise their appeal to consumers – for example, most smart thermostat users ignore the majority of the features they come with.
Almost three quarters (72%) use them to control their heating, but just 44% use the next most popular function, app-based remote control. Only 4% use them to monitor boiler pressure.
Most consumers still need convincing
Among those who don’t yet own a smart device, the vast majority have no interest in doing so, with 76% saying they wouldn’t consider buying any of the appliances on the market.
Without significant efforts to shift attitudes, therefore, the potential market for new consumers is the 14% who are considering a purchase. This group are most likely to consider owning a smart meter or speaker.
- Which smart devices are getting traction in the marketplace
- The attitudes and demographic profiles of those who own one
- What marketers should consider in order to convert shoppers into buyers