In 2016 John Lewis unveiled the UK’s largest smart home ‘experience’ -1000 sq. footage of retail space in its flagship store dedicated to showcasing a range of smart home technologies.¹ With this kind of endorsement coming from one of the UK’s most beloved retailers, you might expect that two years later the smart home category will have moved a long way forwards.
Conversely, findings from our recent study* into smart home technology adoption indicate the sector is still very much in its infancy. Awareness and understanding being just two key barriers that need to be addressed to help grow the category.
Most people don’t know much about smart home technology
Only 4% said they ‘know a lot about it’ with most (47%) claiming they only know ‘a little’. You might think this means the appeal of smart home technology is limited to a smaller, more ‘tech-focused’ audience?
Whilst it’s intuitive to assume those that know a lot about smart home technology are those that are going to be the easiest to win over, this isn’t necessarily the case. 55% of people who feel that they ‘only know a little’ about smart home technology still find it appealing. The implication being consumers don’t need to be educated on every little detail about smart home technology in order to engage with it in some way or another.
Understanding is a key barrier
Among those that don’t currently own an item of smart technology in the home - 14% felt unsure about how it would work and 13% questioned how useful it would be. Furthermore, when we asked people how they think smart home technology is controlled, the response was polarised, with some people saying they are very familiar but many declaring they are limited in their understanding.
Our insights reveal that a lack of awareness and understanding are specific issues that brands and retailers must focus on if the category is to broaden its appeal and grow.
A smart home doesn’t have to be an, ‘all or nothing’ investment - consumers don’t need to be bombarded with a myriad of products and services in order to reap the benefits and engage with the category. Identifying just one need and targeting a product or service that specifically addresses that need, should be a sufficient step towards achieving sector growth.
If you need help to develop or target your brand successfully, or find out more about consumer attitudes and usage of smart home technology get in touch at +44 (0)1932 226 793 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
*Source: Smart Homes Technology Online Survey August 2018, 1,019 UK respondents (nationally representative quotas were set on gender, region, age and social grade), August 2018
¹ Campaign, 2018. John Lewis to launch 'UK's largest' smart home experience in flagship store. [ONLINE] www.campaignlive.co.uk. Available at: https://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/john-lewis-launch-uks-largest-smart-home-experience-flagship-store/1390348 [Accessed 3rd December 2018].