Key findings include:
Knowledge and recognition
- In 2019, a record eight out of 10 consumers know something about the smart home. This is the greatest awareness of the concept to date
- Confidence and brand recognition is stronger amongst consumers
Ownership and appeal
- All of the top categories of products have grown:
- The most owned products are – 46 per cent smart TVs, 22 per cent smart speakers, 19 per cent smart fitness and activities trackers, smart detectors for smoke and gas leaks, smart thermostats, and smart washing machines
- Smart domestic appliances have been the fastest growing category in terms of appeal
Drivers and Barriers
- Top drivers; confidence, interoperability, and comfort.
- Top barriers; cost, privacy, and knowledge.
Control and willingness to pay
- When additional benefits are recognised, 52 per cent of consumers are willing to pay more for a smart rather than a non-smart product, when it comes down to home security
- With regards to health, consumers are willing to pay a premium for monitoring devices
- Smartphones are the number one means of controlling other smart devices.
[LONDON] 26 June 2019: techUK has today launched its third annual report - The State of the Connected Home. With polling from 1,000 UK consumers, the report highlights how market appeal, consumer understanding and ownership has shifted from 2018, as well as the constraints on uptake. For the first time, the survey covered consumers’ drivers for purchase and further explores the main barrier for the last three years – cost. Furthermore, it contains analysis around what types of devices consumers use to control their environment and what role the ecosystems play in impacting their choices. The report also covers how techUK is working with industry and Government to tackle some of these challenges. It also makes recommendations to encourage widespread adoption.
Knowledge and recognition
The report shows that consumers were more knowledgeable about smart homes than the previous two years, with more than a third of consumers feeling like they know a lot/a fair amount about smart home technology. Interestingly, as knowledge increases overall, appeal is slightly lower than in 2018, with the exception for smart appliances.
Ownership and appeal
The slight increase in appeal of smart appliances might be connected to the modest growth in ownership of smart appliances - where the survey found owners are extremely positive.
Ownership has increased in each of the top 10 product categories for all age groups in comparison to 2018. Three out of five consumers now own at least one smart home device and the 25 to 44 age group own the most connected home products.
Barriers and adoption of connected home devices
Top drivers for adoption for 2019 are confidence that consumers can use new smart home devices. They do expect some level of interoperability, and essentially wish them to provide comfort.
The top barriers for 2019 are still consistent with other years. Cost, concerns about privacy and security, and lack of knowledge are the primary barriers to take up.
Interaction with smart devices and premium services
The research also explored if consumers are willing to pay more once they have realised the benefits of “smart”. 52 per cent of people would pay more for a smart product which improves their home security and 12 per cent of people would pay a premium for a smart product that accurately monitors their health.
The report also showed that 64 per cent of owners control their smart energy and lighting devices via their smartphone, while 32 per cent use a smart speaker.
Commenting on the report, Teodora Kaneva, Programme Manager, SmarterUK, said:
“The connected home market is developing rapidly; this is primarily driven by innovation in the industry. We see a huge appetite for smart home technology to, not only provide comfort and safety, but also to reduce household bills and allow consumers to interact with the ecosystem. The increase smart home device usage will also allow the energy, automobile, and connectivity providers to further innovate and work with Government to tackle key environmental challenges.”
Jay Chinnadorai, Chairman of the Connected Home Working Group, Senior Board Advisor – Informetis:
“It has been fascinating to see the evolution of the Connected Home market over the last three years – the same period for which we have been publishing this report – and see some significant and some more subtle changes. We are just beginning to see the value of the ecosystem being extracted by the consumer. This is not unrelated to the dramatic growth of smart speakers – a category which did not exist back in 2016. We are also delighted that techUK, in partnership with GfK, has been able to track and inform the industry every year with this report.”
Trevor Godman, Key Account Director, GfK:
“Smart speakers have been the real star of the connected home market over the past couple of years, but we are seeing steady growth in sales across a variety of other products. Our research also shows plenty of appetite for the benefits that smart products can bring – improved home security, convenience in looking after the home and so on. It’s slightly less clear that consumers really understand the benefits those products can deliver. The challenge for industry is to crystalise the advantages of connected products rather than relying on calling them “smart”. This will help as the connected home becomes increasingly mass market.”