Most Consumers Enter Smart Home Experience With Standalone Devices

A strong preference for beginning with standalone devices has important implications for sales channels that tend to focus on systems, says research firm Interpret.

DALLAS — More than half of smart home device owners in the United States purchased their first smart home product less than three years ago, according to new research from Interpret. Only 12% of buyers started the process with the intent of purchasing a system, with the vast majority entering the smart home experience by trying out one or more standalone smart home devices.

The strong preference for beginning with standalone devices has important implications for sales channels that tend to focus on systems, according to Interpret. The preference confirms that retail and online channels are becoming equally or more important to smart home device makers than traditional home security, home systems integrators or internet service provider channels.

Interpret’s study, “Smart Home Matrix (Volume 3): Consumer Purchase Journey,” examines the order of smart home devices purchased, the time between purchases, and the channels used for first, second and subsequent purchases.

Interpret’s research finds that one-third of consumers are loyal to their first channel and continue to purchase from that channel, while another third purchase from multiple channels, motivated to find the best value, followed by the best selection.

“Despite the explosion of smart home products being sold through retail and online channels, home security solutions providers continue to post strong results, proving that consumers have a strong appetite for smart home products sold in a variety of forms, prices, and bundles,” says Stuart Sikes, senior vice president at Interpret. “The question to answer is if buyers of standalone smart products, over time, will have a stronger desire for their products to become systems.”

The research study is the latest edition of the company’s ongoing quarterly survey of 9,000 U.S. consumers, ages 18 to 55, a component of Interpret’s smart home research suite of syndicated reports providing insights and business guidance for the smart home industry.

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