From the concept of smart home in 2014, it has been widely proposed. After several years of development, China’s smart home market has now formed a blooming situation. New technologies, new products and new models have emerged in an endless stream, which has driven many changes and innovations in the industrial chain.
At present, the smart home market standard has not yet been formed, and the scene ecology has not yet been established, and it is still a stage dominated by single products. At this stage, it is the focus of the enterprise to gain insight into user needs, resolve user pain points, form user reputation, and lay a solid foundation for users.
On the consumer side, while watching the dazzling, they are constantly trying with curiosity. Some people buy a single item, some buy a suit, some products bring surprises, and some products bring scares.
In order to gain a deeper understanding of consumers’ perceptions of smart homes, “Sales and Markets” magazine and Kodak Digital 100 conducted a series of online surveys around the topic of “smart homes”.
In the previous survey data, we found that most consumers expressed satisfaction in the experience of smart home products, but there were problems such as high product prices and insufficient functional utility. In the survey data of smart home items, Xiaomi smart speakers and smart TVs are in a leading position in the penetration rate of similar products.
This time, we conducted an online survey of 3042 smart home consumers. Through survey data, we found that when consumers were asked how likely they might recommend smart home products to others, the percentage of referrals was 44%. By further analyzing the recommender’s user attributes, we found that the “post-80s” recommenders had the highest percentage, up to 54%, followed by “70s” (48%) and “85s” (47%). It can be seen that “post-80s” consumers have the highest loyalty to smart home products, and are most likely to become repeat buyers and product word-of-mouth communicators. This part of the population is the core user of smart home products.
We believe that the “post-80s” and “post-85s” and “post-70s” groups are the main force of “married one child” and “married two children”. Their busy work and life make them smart, time-saving and labor-saving. The demand for household products is strong, and they also have strong consumption levels, which can reach the price threshold of smart home products. Smart home manufacturers should pay more attention to these high-value consumers, improve their user experience, and effectively address user pain points in order to gain a foothold in the fierce competition.
In this phase of the survey, we also have the following findings:
Discover one: home product iteration, smart home becomes the first choice
Under what circumstances will consumers choose smart home products? The number 100 survey found that 54% of consumers chose “the existing ordinary household products are broken and need to buy new ones”, and 44% of consumers will choose smart home products when they are “home decoration”. It can be seen that consumers have a strong curiosity about smart homes. When household items need to be added or updated, smart home products will be preferred. (see picture 1)
Although the development trend of the smart home market is fierce, the development history is still short. Most consumers are still using ordinary household products. It takes a certain time for smart home products to completely replace ordinary household products.
Discovery 2: Consumers prefer DIY to combine various items
In the survey of smart home purchase methods, we found that 46% of consumers choose to “buy multiple smart home items and freely combine”, and 31% of consumers only “buy independent smart home items”, 23% Consumers will “buy the entire smart home system.” (See Figure 2)
We believe that although the purchase of the entire smart home system is time-saving and labor-saving, but the price is relatively high, the current audience is limited, most people still like to buy a single product.
From the perspective of user gender, one-third of male users choose “buy independent smart home items”, while female users prefer “buy multiple smart home items, free combination”, with a ratio of 46%.
We believe that the habits of male users are more inclined to have demand to buy, what are the needs, what products to buy; while female users prefer to spend time DIY combination, adding a lot of fun to life.
Discovery 3: The disinfection and sterilization function of consumers should be standard for smart washing machines.
In the survey of smart home items, we found that the popularity of smart washing machines is wide, and only 4% of consumers said that they have not used smart washing machines. According to survey data on smart washing machine brands, Haier has the largest audience (60%), followed by “beautiful” (44%) and “Little Swan” (25%). (See Figure 3)
In terms of satisfaction, nearly 90% (89%) of the smart washing machine consumers expressed satisfaction, and more than half (52%) said “very satisfied”. (See Figure 4)
In terms of functional expectation, “self-contained sterilization function” (60%), “automatic judgment of laundry water consumption” (59%), “automatic delivery of suitable laundry liquid dosage” (57%) became standard in consumers’ minds. At the same time, consumers’ expectations for functions such as “touch screen”, “voice interaction” and “view history” are not high. (See Figure 5)
We believe that washing machines have long been a must-have for the family. Ordinary washing machine users are potential users of smart washing machines, and the market size is huge in the future. As a representative of the intelligent upgrade of ordinary household appliances, the smart washing machine market started earlier and developed faster. The initial upgrade has been completed, and the function has met the main pain points of consumers, such as “automatic sterilization and disinfection of washing machines and clothes”. “and the “optimal amount of laundry detergent”, etc., so consumers are more satisfied with smart washing machines. However, smart washing machines have not been widely recognized by consumers for their more intelligent functions, such as “voice interaction” and “remote control”. How to further improve the intelligent level of washing machines, bring greater convenience to consumers, and allow consumers to fully recognize, will become the focus of market development.
Discovery four: Intelligent router “anti-mite network” function is concerned
In this survey of smart router products, we found that only 5% of consumers said that “the smart router has not been used.”
According to survey data on brand use, “Xiaomi” has the largest audience (45%), followed by “Huawei” (39%) and “TP-LINK” (31%), which also constitute the consumer brand. An echelon is far ahead of other brands. (See Figure 6)
In terms of functional expectations, consumers are most concerned about “mobile phone remote management” (56%) and “anti-mite network” (54%). At the same time, consumers are expecting “offline download”, “one-click over the wall” and “print function”. The degree is low. (See Figure 7)
We believe that the network has almost become a must-have for modern people. As the level of intelligence in life increases, the network will play a key role as an infrastructure. The router is an important carrier of the network and an important entrance for the smart home system. The market space is huge. Compared with ordinary smart home products, intelligent routers carry more responsibilities and put forward higher requirements for enterprise technical strength. Especially in terms of information security, enterprises need to pay special attention. In the survey data, we also found that consumers have high expectations for the “security firewall” function of smart routers.
At present, China’s smart home industry is generally in a stage of rapid development, but the pace of development of various market segments is different. Some of the traditional home appliances are intelligently upgraded, with faster development and higher popularity, such as smart washing machines, and some innovations. The intelligent products or the categories with higher intelligence requirements are slower to develop and have a lower popularity, such as smart routers and smart speakers. The smart home market has a long way to go before it is fully publicized.
From the perspective of market competition, although there are some leading companies and brands in the various segments of smart home, they have not formed an absolute advantage, and the market competition is still very fierce. Home appliances belong to low-frequency consumer goods, and the word-of-mouth effect of seed users is very important. If enterprises want to have a place in the mature market in the future, they must effectively solve the user’s pain points, enhance the user experience, and form a good user reputation.
Through continuous online surveys, we found that consumers’ acceptance, satisfaction and recommendation for smart homes are relatively high, and the prospects for the smart home market are also relatively promising. With a good user base, with the improvement of various technologies and the establishment of standards, the smart home market will enter a stage of rapid development and enter thousands of households.