This category is still in its infancy in Latam but, since things are now moving in the US and the UK, accelerated by the arrival of voice control with Amazon Echo and Google Home, we are keen to establish a baseline.
Here are some interesting findings from the survey:
- Timescales given in response to the question, “When do you envisage you will have a smart home?” are shortest in Mexico. Brazil and Argentina are next, and Chile is some way behind.
- It is open season on smart home for the channels – none has established themselves as the natural go-to place: in two countries (Brazil and Argentina) online retailing leads, in two others (Chile and Mexico) DIY is in front. Specialist technology retailers lag throughout Latam, which is surprising.
- Awareness of voice control is high, in particular Apple Siri. This makes these countries fertile ground for the launch of Amazon Alexa and Google Home although, at the moment, people prefer to use smartphones to access smart home. We think this will change when they see the ease of access voice control provides.
- Thermostats, lightbulbs, smart plugs, smart doorbells and locks, and smart cameras are the products people are most aware of. Lightbulbs and plugs are the entry products, the ones people are going to buy (intention to purchase > 4%). Smart doorbells and smart sound systems cross this threshold too.
- Interestingly, leading reasons for purchase differ by country – security in Brazil and Chile, automation and making life easier in Mexico, lowering energy costs in Argentina. “Because it’s just cool,” scores very highly in Chile and Argentina – is this coming from tech lovers, early adopters, or just people for whom image is important?
- Lack of understanding of benefits and lack of knowledge of products are key barriers, and this is unsurprising. But the strong vote for products that work together should be a call to action for the industry. The importance of integrated offerings is supported by the number of people who say that they don’t understand how the smart home concept fits together. The manufacturer or retailer who really communicates and delivers this will be in a strong position.
- People are more concerned about the physical risks of owning a smart home product than the cyber risks. Product malfunction is the top risk in all countries.
- The only country where retailers are doing a reasonable job of explaining smart home is Mexico.
- There is a three horse race for the hub – Amazon Echo leads in Brazil, Google Home in Chile and Apple Homekit in Mexico. In Argentina, Amazon Echo and Google Home are neck and neck.
Smart Home in 2017 is going to be a battle of the giants! For more information, please click here!