The Smart Home Begins to Take Off in Europe as Voice Control Drives Consumer Spend

 In Retail Store

17th July 2017 – More consumers are prepared to buy smart home products in the next 12 months than in the previous year, and are willing to spend more, with Germany and the UK leading the way as the most mature markets, according to CONTEXT.

The analyst firm polled 4,500 consumers in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Netherlands, Russia and Turkey to compile its CONTEXT Smart Home Survey 2017.

It revealed that 13% expect to have a smart home within 12 months, compared to 10% last year, with the intent to buy increasing among almost all categories.

Voice dominates

Voice control is fast becoming a major driver of smart home spend, with the biggest group (32%) now claiming they’ll fork out between £150 and £250 on products, versus 18% who opted for the same in 2016.

In the UK, awareness of voice control systems, and the smart home in general, is soaring.

Over 81% now recognise the term “smart home”, compared to just 38% in 2015 and 39% in 2016.

UK leads the way

UK consumers are also more likely than those in other nations to favour voice as a means of access to smart home products, with Amazon Echo the most trusted hub (28%), followed by Google Home (24%).

This activity has helped the UK close the gap on Germany as the most advanced market in the region, as rated by the CONTEXT Smart Home Barometer: a composite measure of survey and sales data.

The UK, which was lagging behind European leader Germany in 2016 with an index of 36/100 vs 62/100, has caught up considerably this year with an index of 55/100 vs 67/100.

“There’s still some way to go yet”, said Adam Simon, Global Managing Director at CONTEXT. “Although UK consumers are considered the most internet-savvy in Europe, evidenced by strong online banking and media catch-up penetration, just 9% currently control their home remotely, according to the study.”

Security is major driver

Security is another major driver for smart home spend, with 51% of European respondents claiming they’d feel happier knowing their home is secure and three-quarters (74%) saying they worry about their home when they are away.
Women and 18-24 year olds are particularly excited about the smart home.

In fact, Generation Z consumers scored the second lowest last year in both the entry level <£150 and £150-250 groups. However, this time around they came out top in both, accounting for 13% of each group.

As to where consumers across Europe are spending their money, it depends on the country, with a plurality (23%) opting for DIY retail as their chosen channel.

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