(Infographic from CP Consulting Connected Homes U.K. consumer survey.)
The global connected home market will reach an “inflection point” in 2016, with 700 million connected homes expected by 2020, according to CP Consulting a London-based research and advisory firm specializing in financial services. The firm’s new survey, “Connected Homes: Consumer Attitudes Towards the Connected Home in the UK,” finds that 47.6 percent of British consumers will aged 25 to 44 are planning to buy at least one connected home product over the next 12 months, compared to 54 percent of consumers in the U.S.
“The market of Connected Home is starting to open up to early adopters in the U.K.,” comments Carlo Palmieri, managing director, CP Consulting. “Half of our respondents are in fact planning to buy at least one product within the next 12 months”, comments Carlo Palmieri, MD at CP Consulting.
Among the findings the study, which polled 500 U.K. residents in the 25 to 44 years old age range, are the following:
- Energy and Safety Concerns Motivate Consumers: Around half of the U.K. consumers surveyed who plan to buy at least one product will do so primarily to save on energy bills, monitor their homes remotely and increase their safety. A minority of respondents seek connected home devices for entertainment purposes. A similar survey in North America found that 90 percent of consumers were motivated by security concerns in buying connected home devices.
- Most Desired Products are Smart Thermostat and Smart Home Hubs: Consumers identify smart thermostats and smart home hubs as the devices that interest them most, followed by lighting applications and cameras. Smoke detectors were the least desirable, with only 23 percent preferring them.
- Some Consumers Remain Skeptical of the Utility of Connected Home Product: Of the consumers not planning to buy connected home products, about 55 percent sees no need for devices, 42 percent thinks that devices are too expensive, and 23 percent express privacy concerns.
The fact that hub devices top consumers’ wish lists may indicate that many Britons understand the modular concept of the smart home and plan to build their own connect home around it, according to Palmieri. “Hub manufacturers should focus on winning the heart of consumers now,” he recommends.
Insurers Must Move Quickly
While Connected Home devices are purchased incrementally, when consumers perceive their benefits, the Hub that powers the Connected Home integrated solution is purchased upfront, on first installation, Palmieri elaborates. “Hence, given the rapid expected take up of Connected Home, insurers and other service providers need to act now if they want to get a slice of the market in the future,” he cautions.
Many skeptical consumers probably don’t yet understand the connected home concept and the full range of benefits that can flow from it, Palmieri suggests. “To help consumers understand their offerings, manufacturers in the U.S. have ramped up their investments in advertisement while retailers have created dedicated floor spaces at point of sale as well as ‘concept’ stores,” he says. “To further increase consumer adoption of Connected Home products in the U.K., retailers and manufacturers need to follow a similar approach, investing more in advertisement, marketing and point of sale initiatives.”