Demand for smart home products surges across the UK: Research

Demand for smart home products surges across the UK: Research
Demand for smart home products is booming in the UK, with smart hub being the most sought-after product in the next six months, according to a research from Maplin, the UK’s specialist technology retailer.

Almost a quarter (24%) of people in the UK now own a smart home product. This uplift in demand has been reflected in Maplin’s sales of smart home technology which has jumped 135% year-on-year.

Consumers who bought smart home products spent an average £174 on the technology over the past year. With 71% of consumers considering buying their first or additional smart home products, the smart home market in the UK has the potential to be worth more than £6 billion a year, according to Maplin’s in-house data.

The survey also found that consumers view leaving the lights on (46%) and forgetting to switch off plugs (37%) to be the top bugbears in the home which can be solved with smart technology. Because they offer a solution to these problems, smart plugs have become Maplin’s best-selling smart product, with smart lighting the fourth best-selling.

But for those looking to buy smart technology in the next six months, smart hubs – the voice-activated devices which offer a central control for smart homes – are the most desirable products, sought after by 38% of consumers. As an individual product, Amazon Echo is the most wanted with 22% of consumers hoping to buy one. Apple, Amazon and Google are all looking to launch new smart home products this year which will only boost awareness and demand.

The main reasons consumers want smart technology in their homes are safety (56%), followed by making their lives easier (53%), and saving money (53%). However, price was the main factor which could dissuade consumers from buying smart home technology (68%).

While 93% of consumers have heard of smart home products, more than half (55%) admit they do not fully understand it. As smart home moves from early adopters to the mainstream, Maplin is the first UK retailer to launch a free home survey to help consumers make their home more connected and decide which products are right for them.

“The Smart Home market is growing at an astonishing rate as consumers seek more connected homes. The convenience and peace of mind these products offer is proving popular,” said Oliver Meakin, CEO of Maplin.

With Silicon Valley’s tech giants launching competing entertainment products before the end of the year, smart hubs look set to become Christmas 2017’s must have tech gifts. If the current growth in demand for Smart Home products continues, they will soon become as common as smart phones, according to Meakin.

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