The US market for Smart Home devices is growing rapidly and has been predicted to reach $151.38 billion by 2024. However, research indicates that consumers are often disappointed with their devices after purchase, and that their usage declines over time. A comprehensive Smart Home survey was conducted to investigate whether device complexity remains a barrier to wider adoption of connected devices and what customers want when it comes to effective support.
- Smart Home adoption is on the rise: 40% of U.S. consumers have already adopted Smart Home devices, with smart speakers (49%) and smart thermostats (32%) the most common products.
- Simplicity is key to wider adoption: the majority of respondents stated that when they buy a new device it is very important that it is easy to use (52%) and install (51%). 74% of consumers are certain or likely to return a product if they find it complicated.
- Some devices and tasks are especially complicated: the trickiest devices to install are smart thermostats (13%) and smart security cameras (11%). The tasks that consumers find the most challenging are troubleshooting (22%), syncing with other devices (15%) and syncing the device with its app (11%).
- Complexity remains a significant issue: Heavy users (4 devices or more) find it almost twice as easy to install and use various types of devices than “light users” (1 or 2 devices). With certain devices, this gap is even bigger (e.g. 11% of “light users” find it hard to use a smart thermostat vs. only 4% of “heavy users”).
- Consumers’ growing demand for visual self service: the vast majority (78%) prefer to onboard a new device independently, with ‘how-to’ videos the most popular method (55%). However, 16% of consumers still end up calling a contact center.
- Virtual Assistants expected to play a key role: 54% of all consumers are willing to use personal assistants such as Alexa, Siri, or Google Home to walk them through the setup and usage of smart home devices, rising to 68% of consumers who already own a smart speaker.
For Smart Home technology to gain wider adoption, suppliers must focus on removing any technological challenges that may cause friction to customers, and emphasize self service options. For further insights and a deep dive into the data from the 2019 Smart Home Support Survey, download the comprehensive report now.