Marketers and advertisers might have to wait a little longer to use IoT to reach consumers via smart appliances in their homes.
Adoption of smart appliances has yet to take off in the U.S. and large growth is not projected for the next year, according to a new study.
The 360 View Update: Consumer Demand for Connected Major Appliances by Parks Associates found that fewer than 5% of U.S. households currently own a smart appliance and less than a quarter (18%) of consumers plan to buy one within the next year.
Smart appliances include refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers and washing and drying machines that can be remotely controlled and monitored through an internet connection.
High cost and availability are among the factors affecting adoption. Brands need to more clearly address consumer pain-points in order to grow the industry, according to Parks Associates analyst Eddie Accomando.
“A focus on the customer’s end use case, resulting in features that solve real customer problems, will drive more sales than possibilities or ‘nice to have’ options,” he said.
While intent to purchase smart appliances has more than doubled since 2014, Parks Associates’ Tom Kerber believes there is a disconnect in the industry.
“Recipe apps and features get lots of attention in marketing smart stoves and refrigerators, but nearly 60% of meals are prepared without a recipe,” said Kerber, who directs research for home controls and energy at Parks.
“Only 19% use a recipe from an Internet source,” he said. “For smart appliances to be successful, manufacturers need to understand how consumers want to use these devices.”
The research found that of households that own or plan to own a smart dishwasher, more than half (53%) say they value the ability to avoid melting plastics by automatically adjusting settings. Of those, one third (33%) say self-ordering detergent is beneficial.
“Focusing on applications that consumers value will help increase demand,” Kerber said. “For example, the most desired capabilities for smart stoves or ovens are features that prevent food from burning or overcooking.”