The smart home market is beginning to mature as consumers are purchasing devices from a wider range of retailers than before, according to new research from The NPD Group.
More than one-fifth (22 percent) of the 5,000 U.S. Internet households the group surveyed reported owning a smart home device in Q4 2018, up from 17 percent during the prior-year period.
What’s more, dollar sales growth grew 18 percent for 2018 vs. 2017, and NPD expects the category to reach $2.5 billion dollars by the end of 2019.
(NPD does not include smart speakers within home automation devices; it does include system controllers, security and monitoring, power and sensors, home automation kits, smart entry and smart lighting.)
The firm said smart home device awareness has reached 42 percent among non-owners, but it noted a maturing marketplace as the concept shifts from early adopter to mainstream consumers. The largest increase in ownership occurred in the 35 to 54 age bracket — from 16 percent to 22 percent.
Furthermore, respondents purchased smart home devices from a wider range of retailers than before, including cable/telco providers, home-improvement stores and online-only dealers.
Cable/telco: 13 percent said they made a smart home purchase through this type of seller in Q4 2018, up 6 percentage points from the prior-year period.
Home improvement: 27 percent made a purchase in this channel during the period, up from 16 percent a year ago.
Online-only: 51 percent of respondents said they purchased a smart power device, and 38 percent said they purchased a smart lighting device in this channel during sales during the period, up from 38 percent and 30 percent, respectively.
Noted Weston Henderek, director, industry analyst for NPD Connected Intelligence: “As consumers become more familiar with smart home products we are seeing that they are more open to purchasing through a wider variety of channels. This demonstrates the importance of having strong retail distribution across a wider number of retailer categories for smart home OEMs.”