Smart Home Market in the United Kingdom
The new report created by GfK titled ‘Smart Home Study in the United Kingdom – 2018’ has been conducted over the last 3 years and investigates consumers’ interest in smart home technologies.
Defining the level of ‘smartness’ is fundamental since sometimes what the industry considers ‘smart’ is not aligned with how consumers see things. GfK’s definition of smart home is largely based on connected devices – where the ability to interconnect devices and access the internet is clearly a central component of being smart.
The UK smart home market was worth €1 billion in 2017, with an increase in volume growth of 35% compared to the previous year. As of today, it is the second largest market in Europe after Germany.
There is an evident rise in the number of products on sale. In the year to April 2018, there were at least 336 brands offering 3,777 smart products in the UK.
FAMILIARITY WITH SMART HOME TECHNOLOGIES AND OWNERSHIP
Three quarters of consumers say they know at least a little about the smart home trend. In 2018, 74% of surveyes had familiarity in smart home solutions, compared to 66% in 2016. These percentages include anyone with some knowledge of smart home and include people who ‘know a lot’, ‘know a fair amount’, and ‘know a little’.
‘I know a lot’ has been a significantly higher answer among people aged 16-24.
Not only sales are rising, but also the reported ownership of smart home devices is growing. As the image below shows, more than two thirds of people surveyed own at least 2 products, with 44% owning more than 3.
CONVERTING INTEREST TO ACTUAL PURCHASE
An interesting fact that research shows, is that there is a greater interest and intent to buy than actual current ownership. The reason could lie in the fact that price is considered a perceived barrier to purchasing, indicating that probably product benefits have not been made sufficiently clear. Other concerns include also privacy and security.
What can be done to convert this interest in to sales?
Three are the main points suggested by GfK to drive higher consumption:
- To communicate the product benefits more clearly to consumers
- This includes ‘ecosystem’ and interoperability
- To provide reassurance around privacy – especially as the demographic of those with money to invest in home upgrades are older than the typical early adopters of tech