Have we made progress in making it easier for Smart Home consumers to install and enjoy?
A few years ago I was interviewed for a story on what were the barriers to adoption within the overall Smart Home market. One of the key that came out of the research I shared was the ongoing challenges that DIY consumers had with installation. Issues of WiFi range and configuration, device interoperability and just plain hardware quality kept consumers from having the joy of a more intelligent home within the first five minutes of opening the box.
Not only is there a lot of red in 2015, the percentage of green was a bit anemic as well. Consumers were really wrestling with Wi-Fi configuration, and other major stumbling blocks as they work through the agonies of installation. Cut forward to 2017 and there is an happier ending approaching, or better yet, happier beginning.
Looking at the same slice of consumer perceptions in the first half of 2017, we see less negative perceptions in some segments, growth in positive views across all segments. Suffice to say, the installation experience has improved within the Smart Home, correlating with a growth in the overall market as well.
|Segment||% Reduction in Frustration|
|Smart Doorbell Cameras||33.9%|
|Smart Switches and Plugs||32.8%|
As you can see in the table above, some of the most frustrating segments like Doorbell Cameras and Switches and Plugs saw significant improvements in their installation process for DIY consumers. These manufacturers worked hard to smooth out the kinks in their Out Of Box Experience and we see evidence of this in our consumer data.
Unfortunately, we are not out of the woods just yet. For the overall market, oddly, the frustration levels remained the same. So for each of these categories that have improved, there are categories where installation became more frustrating, including Smart Locks and Smart Home Hubs and Kits. Part of this, based on the market growth over the past few years, we are moving from the early adopters (many of which still have their X10 systems running) into the main part of the market. It is understandable that as a wider part of the target market embraces the promise of the Smart Home, more opportunities for frustration in installation can arise. The fact it is not substantial worse portends even more improvements in the future.
If you want to stay on top of consumer reaction to Smart Home, leverage the Argus Analyzer where we gather and analyzer all of the consumer review data across a broad array of devices and mobile applications. Like a focus group that never goes homes, subscribers can access the views of millions of consumers, getting early warning of the success and failure of products before the numbers come out and unpack the details as to why consumer sentiment is changing within the Smart Home market. Sign up for a free account today!