With polling from 1,000 UK consumers, the report highlights how market appeal, consumer understanding and how ownership has shifted from 2016, as well as the constraints on uptake.
For the first time, we have assessed the purchasing drivers of consumers and have further explored the main barrier that has been a stumbling block for the last three years – cost.
We have analysed what types of devices the consumers use to control their environment and what role the ecosystem plays. The report 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
- 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.
Whilst cost continues to be a the most significant barrier for adoption of smart products, we can also see that it can be overcome by clearer and targeted messaging. As in previous years, the ability to demonstrate the value of smart devices at point of sale is a key factor for enabling growth and breaking down some of these barriers.
We are also beginning to see the emergence of the concept of an ‘ecosystem’ of products, from a consumer perspective.
The good news for brands and the industry is a key finding that consumers are willing to pay a premium for smart products, once the added value of owning has been clearly explained to them.
1. Continue to develop our narrative around the value and benefits that smart home technologies can deliver. This report shows that industry is still struggling to do this although momentum does appear to have shifted in the last 12 months.
2. To actively work together to address concerns that consumers have about the security and privacy of the smart home. This will require tangible action and techUK will continue to convene industry to address these issues.
3. Establish and deepen the messaging around how the ecosystem and network of smart home technologies can bring even greater benefits to the consumer.
1. To recognise the role that smart home technologies can play in delivering against some of the Industrial Strategy’s Grand Challenges of an Ageing Society and Clean Growth, including the goal to be carbon net-zero by 2050.
2. To work with industry to help address security and privacy concerns. This can be through the technical assistance of the NCSC to, where necessary, include cyber security of devices and products in regulation.
3. To work together with connectivity providers and energy suppliers to provide the best ecosystem for the market to flourish. This includes pushing forward with commitments made in the Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan.