Back last Christmas, a lot of people I know received an
Amazon Echo or Google Home as a gift; in fact, it felt a little like I was one
of the only people without one. These products are among the latest and most
successful examples of a sector that is primed to explode into the mainstream
in the next few years: Smart Home. According to research conducted by PWC, just
over one in every eight households (14%) in Britain now contains a device
driven by AI, and a further quarter (24%) of those who don’t currently own one plan
on purchasing one in the future.
The Smart Home sector is about much more than just products you can control with your voice and to help settle (or start!) arguments. Incidentally, this seems to be the most used feature among my friends. There is now a ‘smart’ version of almost every electronic device in the home, and even some non-electronic ones, from smart security devices like locks and lights, through to smart fridges that can suggest recipes based on what’s in them, to smart blinds which put the most basic physical task under the control of an app. A study by Gartner predicts that by 2022 a typical family home could contain more than 500 smart devices, meaning that the vast majority, if not all, household tasks will be controllable from a phone or tablet.
Big tech and those in the business of building houses are clearly gearing up to capitalise on what they see as a burgeoning market. Amazon recently purchased Smart Tech firm Ring for a cool $1billion, and more new-build housing developers are considering integrating Smart Home features into the properties they build as standard. However, the creators and proponents of Smart Home should be very aware of both the pros (convenience, peace of mind) and cons (security of data, technical complexity) of the sector and understand the extent to which these impact consumer opinions and subsequent purchasing decisions.
By engaging now with consumer research, companies can have confidence in their knowledge of buyer sentiment around Smart Home products and leverage this to emphasise the key drivers and alleviate the barriers to help create compelling product propositions and brand communications.
At Morar HPI we are experts in turning data and insight into tangible growth and performance improvements. Our specialist Home and Family division already works with companies such as Argos and Barratt Homes helping them understand topics such as Smart Home and what it means for their business.
To learn more contact Caroline Hawkings or leave a comment below.