5th April 2019

The Rise of the Smart Home

Digital Trends

Reading time 10 mins

The Rise of the Smart Home

We’ve been checking out YouGov’s report on the smart home market which gives some fantastic insights into the public’s perception of smart devices, the uptake of the various types of devices, and the conversion rates we can expect to see in the future.

What’s going on

As most of us know, a smart device is one that connects to other devices or networks to operate interactively and somewhat autonomously, and nearly a quarter (23%) of homes now have one – with a smart speaker being the most popular type. Smart speaker owners are clearly happy with their devices, as almost a third of them have at least 2 speakers, with Amazon Echo and Google Home dominating the market.

The next most commonly found devices in the home include smart thermostats (6%), smart lighting (5%), and smart security (3%). So, it’s clear to see that these devices are on the rise as we move into an increasingly ‘techy’ age where 38% of people consider smart speakers to ‘make life easier’.

Persona of an owner

The most likely demographic to own a smart speaker is the 25-44 age group with an income over £30k per annum. The consensus of this group also tends to be that “technology is a force for good” (58%) and that it will “make communities more connected in the future” (40%). They are also quite likely to “splash out on products” they don’t need and would “prefer to buy things online rather than in stores”.

This group are also prolific social media users, with 68% of smart speaker owners visiting Facebook every day and 24% saying they would be more likely to make a purchase from a branded e-mail or a social media ad (11%).

It’s not for everyone

So, it’s all sounding quite positive for the future of smart devices and the continued uptake of this technology within the home. Yet, there are still some people that have no intention of buying into the current smart device movement – with 76% of people who don’t currently own one saying they wouldn’t think about buying one of any type.

But all is not lost! There are still 14% who say they would consider purchasing one, which is great news for manufacturers, as once converted – consideration for purchasing another smart device increases to 40%! Win win!

Don’t be creepy

On the whole, it seems that people are reluctant to use smart devices due to the many media reports about privacy and concerns around being hacked. 15% of people who don’t own a smart device have privacy concerns or consider digital assistants to be ‘creepy’.

Another negativity arising from the use of smart devices is the lack of understanding a lot of people have about them. 75% of non-owners are aware of the devices but don’t actually know much about them or their capabilities.

Yet, rather bizarrely – over half (56%) of people who do own them say that they don’t know much about them either! Which indicates that there’s plenty of potential for manufacturers and marketers to try and raise awareness of these devices through their various campaigns in order to further open up the market.

Knowledge is power

So, it looks like marketers have their work cut out for them if they want to create smart device strategies to appeal to a large audience, as the market and the understanding is just not quite there yet. But, that’s not to say that smart strategies shouldn’t be included at all – the more knowledge and understanding is shared among consumers, the quicker awareness and conversions can be increased, leading to lots of opportunity to capitalise on this technology.

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