Friday, March 13, 2015

Smart home devices increasing in popularity, awareness (Consumer Electronics)

Nearly 4 in 10 US broadband consumers are expected to purchase a device in 2015, according to market research firm Parks Associates.

According to consumer market research firm Parks Associates, 37 percent of broadband-connected US consumers intend to buy some sort of smart home device in 2015. The findings are the result of a survey of 10,000 US broadband-connected households conducted in late 2014. The products most likely to be purchased include smart light bulbs (24 percent plan to buy), home/kitchen appliances (15 percent), thermostat (14 percent) and door locks (12 percent).
Interestingly, 15 percent of all smart home devices were given as gifts in the first three quarters of 2014, down from 32 percent in 2013. This indicates that the average consumer more likely knows about and wants a connected home device now than in the recent past. Aside from the rising awareness and overall purchase intentions, retailers are also giving more attention to the product category. “Another key factor is the amount of floor and shelf space retailers like Best Buy, Apple, Home Depot, and Lowe’s are dedicating to smart home devices,” said Maia Hinkle, Research Analyst, Parks Associates.
Nevertheless, despite the intention of many consumers to purchase smart home products, category awareness is surprisingly low. While awareness is rising, consumers are more likely to recognize a specific product rather than a category of interconnected devices. As Hinkle noted, “Two-thirds of U.S. broadband households are unfamiliar with smart home products or services and nearly 70 percent are unfamiliar with where to buy smart home products.” Parks Associates noted, however, that the entrance into the market of larger brands like Apple (with Homekit), Google’s Nest, and Honeywell have increased aware

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