Despite indications that smart home device interest may be plateauing as the category moves from tech-savvy early adopters to a less educated general public. Millennials remain highly interested in using advanced technology in their homes (and their apartments).
According to The NPD Group’s Connected Intelligence practice, Millennials are twice as likely to have a smart home product as the general population. Nearly a quarter (23%) of Millennials have already installed at least one such product (which include network-connected security devices, sensors, system controllers and/or smart lighting, power and appliances) in their homes, compared with 12% of the general population. Furthermore, 40% of Millennials are interested in owning smart-home products.
“Millennials are critical for the evolution of smart home products in the U.S.,” says John Buffone, executive director of connected intelligence at NPD. “The product mix such as smart cameras, lights, and plugs fits the lifestyle of both home owners and renters, which opens up a larger, younger and more tech-savvy consumer market.”
One factor contributing to high Millennial interest is that smart-home products no longer need to be hardwired into a residence’s infrastructure, meaning they’re not just for homeowners anymore. According to NPD, a nearly equal number of home owners and renters (more than a third of whom are Millennials) are interested in smart home products.
“[Millennials] are more likely to be renters, but as they get older they’re going to buy houses and carry over those behaviors,” Buffone tells Marketing Daily.
Still, smart home marketers need to ramp up their efforts educating consumers about the wide variety of products available and how to use them. A recent report from Argus Insights indicates interest is leveling off as the products move from things for early adopters to a more general market. Buffone agrees.
“The mass market population still has room to be educated about these products,” Buffone says. “There are decent levels of awareness, but there’s more education needed to move the category forward.”