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Is Retail Service A Problem For Connected Home Retailers?

A new research study has thrown the spotlight on why people are buying connected home products and why, more are not.

The US Insurance Company study showed that while more have purchased the big question is why many categories spanning smart TVs; smart speakers; Wi-Fi security cameras; smart doorbells; connected pet devices and wearable health devices are barriers for some people.

There are various reasons why sales haven’t taken off as many predicted, including cost, complexity, perceived value and interoperability the study claims.

A common thread among these barriers is the fact that the consumer experience before and after the sale has not matched expectations.

There is a broken link in the chain between the consumer and the retailer and OEM when it comes to connected product purchases.

Research shows that improving this connection will require delivering services that give people the confidence to buy no matter where they purchase.

Assurant’s most recent report “The Connected Decade,” from 2016-2019 published by Dealerscope, revealed that the share of people considering the purchase of a product in 15 out of 20 categories continued to surpass, the share of those who have bought.

They claim that while smart home products have been on the market for several years, the industry is no nearer to solving the riddle of how to increase consumer purchases in a significant way.

While consumers arguably have become more tech savvy over the past four years, their intent to buy has continued to exceed ownership in a majority of connected product categories the report claims.

In the USA retailers such as Best Buy have invested significantly in selling services into the home whether it be a TV install or the setting up of a home network. So far Australian retailers have shunned the move to selling services.

In 2016, 61 percent of those surveyed said they’d be more likely to go through with a connected product purchase if given one or more of these add-on services. That number grew to 63 percent in 2017, 73 percent in 2018 and 85 percent in 2019. That’s a significant rise in four years.

To better understand the growth in demand for support services, it’s important to know that consumers report that on average more than one in three (36%) of their connected devices develop issues that require third-party assistance to solve. Also, resolution for some of these issues has not improved with time.

The annual share of consumers that experienced challenges with installation did not change between 2016-2019. Neither did consumers’ problems connecting their product to a mobile phone or Wi-Fi.

That’s why added-valued services like tech support can potentially make a difference between consideration and a sale.

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