Last week in Madrid, we launched the latest findings of our Smart Home Survey for the Spanish market. The results highlighted the need for education and new retail strategies to support any growth in this sector.
While there are a number of requirements smart home products can address, consumers are not yet aware of these. For example while 65% of respondents said that they worried about their home when they are away from them, only 10% had actually heard about IP Cameras. When consumers were asked where they would purchase smart home products in Spain, Rakuten, Amazon, Carrefour, Telefónica and Iberdrola came top of the list ahead of Media Markt, Worten o El Corte Inglés.
Spanish consumers listed Rakuten (84%) and Amazon (77%) as the most likely places they would buy smart home products in the coming 12 months. Telefónica, which does not yet offer a full smart home product range, scored high with 77% of respondents choosing them as a place to buy smart home products.
Findings also show that DIY firms are challenging specialist ICT retailers with 62% of consumers planning to buy from Leroy Merlin and 54% from Bauhaus. Utilities such as Iberdrola also scored high (62%) and consumers believe that these kind of companies could do a good job installing smart home products in their homes.
From our point of view, we see that traditional retailers must focus on expanding their offerings in the field of the Smart Home, have expert consultants to guide consumers, and help facilitate the installation of these products. As far as installation services are concerned, telecom operators such as Telefónica and utilities companies such as Iberdrola are a step ahead when it comes to accessing a customer base and the to actually deliver services.
Despite current lack of education amongst Spanish consumers, almost 40% believed they would live in a smart home in the next 3-5 years.
2016 promises to be a year of steady progress as consumers come to understand the benefits of the smart home. More people are interested in learning about the smart home, but there are still hurdles to overcome in terms of how retailers explain the concept to consumers, and how the wider industry markets this category successfully.