The Smart Home Technology Conundrum: High Awareness, but Low Purchase Intention

July 13, 2016, 7:49 PM GMT+0

Smart home technology has been in the news a lot lately. Manufacturers and retailers have been beating the drum that smart tech will be the next big thing. But will it?

The smart home technology market is in an interesting state of development. Many new products have hit the shelves recently and many more are expected soon. The smart home category is defined as network-connected products designed to control, automate and optimize the functions of traditional home appliances and security products. With companies across the entire smart tech ecosystem angling for a slice of a market that is estimated to reach $122B by 2022, it should come as no surprise that an impetus has been placed on informing the consumer of the wonders of the devices that make up this sector.

However, according to a survey by YouGov, there exists some disconnect between consumer demand with smart tech and manufacturer’s expectations. Consumers are somewhat aware of the technology, but their knowledge of product features and benefits, and their intention to purchase smart home devices, is low. While 71% of all respondents in the YouGov survey claimed to be aware of ‘smart tech’, very few were familiar with it[1].

“While it’s apparent that people have heard about smart home technology, there does not seem to be a lot of demand in some key categories yet” says Philip Beary, who has been researching this segment. “A majority have some idea of what smart tech products do, but they lack an understanding of how their lives would benefit from these devices. Since the value proposition has not been explained to the market, high price points deter many potential buyers. However, there is evidence that the gap between awareness and purchase intention can be fixed.”

Despite this gap, people are excited about the possibility that these devices will provide a heightened amount of safety and comfort in their lives. “The smart tech products that focus on these attributes consistently poll at the highest numbers. We are seeing some traction - in terms of awareness, familiarity, and purchase intention - for smart security cameras, speakers, and especially thermostats. However other smart tech products are really lagging behind,” added Beary.

“This category is in a curious state of evolution. Smart home does not seem to be following the same path as other recent revolutionary technologies, but that could all change with the right communication to the appropriate consumer segments in the market.” Beary concluded.

For a copy of the survey results, please contact Philip Beary.

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,147 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between June 24-27, 2016. The survey was carried out online. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US adults (aged 18+). The margin of error is +/- 2.9%.

About YouGov

YouGov is a leading international full-service research and consulting company and a pioneer in the use of technology to collect higher quality, in-depth data for the world's leading businesses and institutions so that they can better serve the people that sustain them. With offices throughout the US, UK, Europe, the Middle East and Asia, YouGov leverages its online sampling matching methodology, research expertise and consulting experience to provide clients with sophisticated market strategy, market analytics, and survey and forecasting services.

[1] Categories surveyed were: smart doorbells, smart door locks, smart cameras, smart appliances, smart lighting, smart speakers, smart thermostats, home automation, smart hubs, carbon monoxide alarms and smart security systems.