With the rise of home assistants, smart speakers, and internet-connected refrigerators, smart home technologies are quickly entering the mainstream. There are already at least 7 billion connected IoT devices on the market today, and Swedish research firm, Berg Insight, predicts that 63 million American homes will qualify as “smart” by 2022.
From Ikea to Amazon, retailers and technology companies are making big bets in the IoT space. Most recently, Ikea announced the launch of a new “Ikea Home smart” business unit – a natural progression from existing offerings like wireless charging, smart lighting, and a whole-home audio partnership with Sonos. This new focus is indicative of an industry-wide shift toward using digital elements and smart technologies to enhance products and solutions for the home.
Smart-home technology is gaining traction among consumers, with more and more shoppers buying into the IoT phenomenon. According to a recent study conducted by Fluent, 30% of consumers claim to have purchased or installed a home-related smart technology product within the past year. Of this 30%, 32% cited Amazon and Samsung, respectively, as the brands they trust most for home-related smart products.
Trust in a product or brand is important to consumers, particularly when bringing something into their home and exposing it to their families. The products and brands able to garner consumer trust are more likely to build stronger relationships and loyalty with their customers. Loyalty not only translates into spend, but also may afford a product or brand some degree of goodwill, should they have a misstep at some point with the consumer.
More than four in ten consumers indicate they own a smart TV (43%), the most common smart product in the household, followed by smart alarms, cameras, and security systems (22%). On average, smart technology category owners have just over three smart products in their home. The chief reasons category users purchase products with smart technology are for convenience and ease-of-use.
Among non-owners of any smart products, more than half are unable to provide a specific reason for lack of purchase. For those offering an explanation, the main barriers to smart technology purchases are perceived high cost, lack of convenience, and lack of understanding the benefit. With initiatives like the Brilliant Builders program pre-installing smart home control systems in new homes and apartments, smart home technologies will likely emerge as a standard feature, rather than a premium, as these solutions continue to evolve.