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Sophie Harding’s expectations for the Smart Home Consumer Survey 2023

As Futuresource begin to collect responses to this year’s Smart Home Consumer Survey, our smart home team has discussed key predictions on how events in the last two years have shaped consumer spending, motivations for purchasing, and overall sentiment around smart home products. Sophie Harding, Graduate Research Analyst, provides her insight.

Futuresource’s research focuses on the UK, Germany, France and the USA, as well as countries currently suffering from the economic fallout of the pandemic. Equally, we focus on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the impact of climate change – many of our expectations centre around these areas. However, these markets are typically known for their trailblazing technology adoption and willingness to experiment and test innovative technologies – a factor expected to cut through the current economic troubles, and provide solutions based on current environmental concerns.

Climate-conscious consumers and energy-efficient smart home solutions

More frequent and extreme weather events – such as the recent heatwaves across southern Europe, USA, and China, have led to increasing consumer and corporate concern of the global warming crisis. In addition, the significant uplift in energy prices has made a major dent on household disposable income – particularly in Europe. As a result, we expect consumers to pay more attention to energy efficiency in their technology purchases.

Smart lighting, thermostats and plugs often claim energy-saving credentials. Usually through features such as turning off plugs when they aren’t needed, heating only occupied rooms in the house, and easily switching off devices remotely. When used well, these features can create a reduction in energy usage and could lower energy bills.

“As a result of increased energy bills and awareness of the impact of global warming, we expect ownership for smart thermostats, lightbulbs and plugs to have grown, fueled by consumers looking for solutions to manage home energy usage.”

Is the aesthetical design of smart home products becoming increasingly important to the consumer?

Social distancing and lockdown measures during the pandemic resulted in a boom of home renovations and redecorating spending. In response to spending more time at home during 2020 and 2021, consumers placed much more value on home entertainment and home design. This combination resulted in a growth of design oriented premium home technology purchases.

The smart home offers consumers a novel way to customise their home and to augment their living experience. This creates new design choices; for example, customised light colours. But devices also need to seamlessly fit with home design, with products such as smart speakers, thermostats and indoor cameras often displayed front and centre in the home. As a result, we think consumers hold smart home devices to a higher standard in terms of aesthetic design than other technology types.

“Aesthetic design will be a highly rated factor when choosing a smart home device.”

Has the pandemic caused a rise in the smart home office?

Since the pandemic, remote working policies have been adopted for good by many organisations. Futuresource research from this year’s Hybrid Worker Survey report, surveyed respondents who work in roles requiring computers and found that less than half of employees are fully office based, while 48% are hybrid and 8% are fully remote.

Further reading: a hybrid approach to hybrid worker, our free infographic.

Increased spending on the smart home office has potentially been a result of this. As consumers spend more time at home, the desire to invest in smart home devices may have increased – both to create efficiency within their work lives, and as part of home improvements.

“Since the pandemic and the resulting prevalence of working from home, consumers have invested in smart home devices to improve work efficiency and comfort. However, due to the cost-of-living crisis and the squeezing of household disposable income, this is a small proportion of consumers, that have already advanced into the smart home ownership journey”.

While we believe that environmental concern, and changes in consumer lifestyles, are set to drive some of the most significant changes in smart home consumer behaviour, there will no doubt be some surprise findings from Futuresource Consulting’s Smart Home Consumer Survey.

To find out more about our upcoming report, please contact:

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Sophie Harding

About the author

Sophie Harding

Before joining Futuresource, Sophie graduated from Bath Spa University where she achieved a first-class degree in Business and Management (Accounting). Sophie found research projects the most interesting part of her studies – she particularly enjoyed a project pertaining to the effects of developments in AI and its impact on transforming business practices.

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