CES 2018: Research Shows Consumers ‘Easing’ Into Smart Home

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Ahead of CES 2018, Scripps Networks has released new research that finds consumers are “easing” into smart home technology ownership, often by receiving it as a gift.

Members of its Under One Roof online consumer panel also said they prefer “camouflaged tech” that adds emotional intelligence to the home as they set up and embrace the connected home lifestyle.

Scripps Networks Interactive, the leader in lifestyle media with brands including HGTV, Food Network and DIY Network, surveyed more than 600 U.S. homeowners of all ages, finding that consumers often are introduced to smart home technology by receiving it as a gift.

Respondents said they most enjoy a seamless integration of technology that can easily fade into the background, yet enhances home life by aiding family tasks and adding an element of fun.

The study found “peace of mind” as the main reason homeowners invest in home tech, while moving or renovating often spurs a decision to add home tech. The study was conducted through the company’s Under One Roof consumer panel and uncovered some interesting stats for brands looking to create value, products and services for connected consumers:

• Practical luxuries make the best gifts.

• Consumers report that receiving (and giving) tech-related gifts feels like a recommendation from a friend. Personal recommendation is the No. 1 source of inspiration for smart home products.

• Nearly three-quarters of survey respondents agreed they love having the latest and best technology in the home.

• Ashley, a 31-year-old mother of twins, said of Amazon Echo, “So integrated into my life I’m not even thinking about it. It was gifted to us when Dad bought a bunch of them for family.”
Consumers are interested in adding some “EQ” (emotional intelligence) to their home’s IQ.

• Survey respondents overwhelmingly agreed (93 percent) that added peace of mind is the primary benefit of adding tech to the home.

• Nearly 85 percent of respondents use home technology for fun and for personal tasks.

• More than three-quarters of respondents said that home tech helps them be a better parent.

• Life events hold key opportunities for consumers to integrate new home technology.

• Certain household “resets” are opportunities to add smart home products that ease transition and maximize satisfaction for everyone under the same roof.

• The top three life events that trigger smart home tech purchases include renovating a current home, moving into a new home, and an increase in household income.

• Mayka, a 33-year-old new mother from California, said, “The first thing we earmarked for ourselves in our first home was to get the Nest. In southern California, it’s hot, and we don’t want to waste energy…same with sprinklers. Those are the two big upgrades we made to the home immediately.”

• Consumers increasingly want “camouflaged” tech, so seamless it’s forgotten.

• 64 percent of Millennials and 53 percent of Boomers surveyed said smart home technology makes them want to spend more time at home.

• 82 percent of Millennials and 69 percent of Boomers surveyed agreed that technology makes their home easier to live in.

• 76 percent of Millennials and half of Gen Xers surveyed noted the importance of an easy set-up and everyday use in deciding to bring tech into their home.

• There’s a slow simmer on investing in technology for the kitchen. Technology is considered a “nice-to-have” in the kitchen where pain points aren’t strong enough to drive major purchases or changes in behavior.

• Nearly 40 percent of the homeowners surveyed aren’t interested in connected appliances and expressed skepticism of the utility of kitchen-related tech beyond the “gee-whiz” factor.

• Smart small kitchen appliances led survey respondents’ wish lists, followed by automated cleaning devices and voice-command devices.

Under One Roof is an internet-based community hosted by Scripps Networks Interactive that includes approximately 20,000 U.S. residents ages 18-64.

The community is comprised of a national sample of consumers who are “lifestyle enthusiasts,” recruited based on their interest in the home, food and travel categories.

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