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For Smart Home Shoppers, Brick-And-Mortar Beats Online — At Least For Now

Among current smart home owners, 26 percent purchased their device from a retailer such as Home Depot, Walmart, or Sears, says Parks Associates.

It would seem to be a safe assumption that people shopping for smart home devices would tend to be so plugged in, they would just as easily rely on e-commerce channels to supply their living rooms with the latest connected intelligence speakers, thermostats, security alarms, and refrigerators.

But according to Internet of Things analyst Parks Associates, that assumption would be wrong.

As Apple unveiled its biggest step into the smart home market with its forthcoming Homepod,

Among current smart home owners, 26 percent purchased their device from a retailer such as Home Depot, Walmart, or Sears, says Parks in its report, Global Connected Living Outlook 2017: Building on the IoT.

Barely 20 percent of consumers bought a smart home setup online from an e-tailer such as Amazon, while slightly more made such a purchase from a home security dealer such as ADT.

Parks Associates has noted that adoption of digital voice-activated assistants more than doubled in Q1 as 76 percent of consumers having used spoken commands to their connected device, the timing could hardly be better for Apple’s entry into the space currently commanded by Amazon and Google.

Retail Opportunities And Challenges From IoT Fragmentation

All those purchases will present an interesting problem for consumers that retailers, both online and offline, will be pressed to address in order to drive more sales.

The fragmentation that will come from the Amazon Alexa consumer who wants to add Google Home this month and an Apple Homepod smart speaker in December.

“There are increased opportunities across the consumer entertainment, technology, mobility, and connected home markets,” said Dina Abdelrazik, Research Analyst, Parks Associates.

“New use cases are emerging as access to consumer data is creating additional value, new methods of personalization, and the possibility of an enhanced user experience (UX),”Abdelrazik added. “However, as consumers become more connected, their digital lives in many ways become more complicated, and solving this potentially fragmented consumer experience, addressing privacy concerns, and crossing traditionally separate boundaries will be the dominant challenges for companies in 2017 and 2018.”

About The Author
David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of GeoMarketing.com. A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.