Automating and connecting our home devices – from smart phones, smart refrigerators, automated doorbells and home integration systems like Amazon Alexa – have proliferated in 2021. Do all of these interconnected devices make consumers smarter?
For starters, you definitely have to be intelligent just to set them up! Depending on the device and the network, set-up time can be substantial. And expect to spend time programming to use all of the high-tech features available.
Interoperability is an important feature that consumers need to remember when making any type of smart appliance purchase. One important consideration is to ensure that a home’s existing WiFi and other connected devices, such as smartphones, will be able to control the newest purchases.
Once established, consumers will rarely disconnect or change smart systems due to compatibility issues. Instead, people tend to continue adding more devices to an existing network.
App-based home automation is growing and is expected to rise 21% between 2020 and 2025, according to a study by CEDIA. Pandemic-fueled appliance and electronics purchases increased dramatically in the last 12 months. And the sale of connected home devices also rose sharply.
The number of consumers with at least one smart home device has doubled since 2015. (34% vs. just 17% five years ago).
The reasons for purchasing smart devices include convenience, customization and energy efficiency. Consumers should focus on the features they are most interested in to make intelligent purchase decisions of smart appliances.
The cost of smart devices is typically 30-50% higher than conventional appliances without connectivity to a home’s WiFi. But do these devices last longer or require fewer repairs? According to the National Association of Home Builders, today’s high tech and energy efficient appliances just don’t last as long.
With more moving parts, touchscreen interfaces and electronic controls than older appliances, smart refrigerators, dishwashers and washers and dryers may need more repairs in the first 3 years of ownership.
Centricity has extended service contract options to protect all of those smart devices. For manufacturers and retailers offering their customers the advantages that come with smart appliances, make sure you are offering Centricity extended service contracts to build brand affinity even if something goes wrong!