Riding a 10-year growth wave, the smart home category continues to make its mark in 2020. It will redefine our existence for the next few years, fueled by an evolving ecosystem of devices designed to make our lives more productive, economical and comfortable.
During these unprecedented times, the smart home has taken on added relevance and is proving essential as society adopts a new normal. Consumers are counting on the most current tools and systems in their homes for working, communicating, and socializing in a successful and meaningful way. The home continues to be everyone’s command center, and making appropriate updates is more important than ever.
“The industry is seeing incredible growth in this category,” said Fred Towns, president of New Age Electronics. “More of the early adopters, who have led the way with smart home implementation during the last few years, are today’s mainstream users who want to expand their options with the newest solutions. We’re also continuing to see manufacturers add more products for consumers to connect.”
These include smart video doorbells and door locks; smart lightbulbs and connected dimmers and switches; smart home security and monitoring systems; driveway lighting; smart thermostats and more.
In fact, the average number of connected devices per household has doubled since 2010, according to the Consumer Technology Association, jumping from approximately seven devices to 14 devices per home.
Supporting more possibilities in the smart home are next-generation wireless connections, 5G and Wi-Fi 6, which translate to faster download speeds and streaming capabilities. In the year ahead, consumers will be able to add more devices to their homes without compromising wireless performance and speed.
The importance of the home network
Key products for the smart home continue to be the core entryway devices like smart speakers and displays along with an emphasis on whole home Wi-Fi. A huge growth area is the mesh Wi-Fi router, which offers a better way to extend a home’s wireless network and optimizes traffic on a network with a growing number of active devices.
“Think of it as a lawn sprinkler system,” said Towns. “And your home is like your yard. The mesh allows you to add more signal to brown spots. You have strong points and weak points in your home, so this lets you strengthen the areas where you need more signal.”
Across all demographics, the smart home network and overall ecosystem holds appeal. This includes Generation X who is using technology to help care for their elderly parents to on-the-go Millennials who gravitate toward the latest innovations. Female shoppers continue to have huge buying power as they manage work and lifestyle needs from home, and Generation Z continues to grow up and earn more, making them a more significant player.
Keeping it simple for consumers
For retailers, opportunities within the smart home are extensive, and knowing where to begin can be a challenge. New Age Electronics is available to advise retailers and provide guidance, from product assortment to in-store displays.
New Age’s Build A Box offering, a unique delivery program from the distributor, allows retailers to create customized solutions to set their businesses apart. Collaborative planning, forecasting and replenishment, bundling, pallet shippers, drop-ship programs, and information on more options can be found here.
Homes, dorms and holidays
Providing momentum for the rest of the year are continued consumer adoption, growing product assortments and rollouts of 5G and Wi-Fi 6, standards that will make starting, building and evolving smart home systems even easier. As the second quarter kicks off, the opportunities are out there, but retailers should focus on presenting and offering manageable solutions to consumers who want ease of use and plug-and-play functionality. For the second half of the year, back-to-school and holiday can make 2020 a blockbuster year for the smart home for retailers who are ready to step up and take advantage of this evolving category.
Categories and Who’s Buying
Key products for the smart home include the basics like:
- A great router and Wi-Fi to support devices
- Voice-assisted products (Google Hub, Amazon Echo)—which are the gateways into the category
- Smart home security to protect devices (plug-and-play options—cameras, smart doorbells, smart lighting)
- Work from home options such as larger monitors, using robust hard drives for back up, and adding in ergonomic chairs and accessories
- Outdoor devices—for lawn care and bringing more cameras around the exterior of the home for added surveillance
- Medical devices—not only fitness but heart monitoring and other advanced medical devices to come out this year
Covers all ages. At one end of the spectrum, there’s a need to help protect elderly parents and monitor what they are doing—all the way down to Generation Z, who grew up with smart devices and are now using them in dorms and apartments. In the middle, Millennials and Generation X continue to be strong adopters as they regularly use technology to manage their homes.
For more information, visit www.synnexcorp.com/newageelectronics.