Between 2018 and 2019, the forecasted number of smart home products shipping to consumers leapt from 643.9 million last year to 840.9 million by the end of this year. The International Data Corporation (IDC) expects that number to grow around 17% every year until 2023. This statistic confirms what the industry already knows — smart home products are here to stay.
The days when sophisticated gizmos only attracted early adopters are long gone. It’s clear from the numbers that the audience for smart home products has expanded into more mainstream audiences. And these markets are adopting an increasing variety of smart home products.
New survey data shows an enthusiastic interest in smart bulbs, speakers, home security, and other smart home products that were considered niche just a couple of years ago.
But where there is opportunity, there are also trials. Earning favor with wider audiences means developing products that customers with less technical experience can easily use. Where early adopters and tech-enthusiasts might be more willing to tolerate a product with complicated installations or a clunky interface, mainstream audiences will take it right back to the store.
To better understand their growing audience and create products that provide the seamless usage they expect, companies are bringing their existing and new customers into the conversation. Not just before launch, but at every stage of the product life cycle.
They are relying on real market insights to adapt their smart home products to consumer needs early and often. Unlike the “sit back and wait” legacy approach to collecting customer feedback, product development professionals recognize that passivity won’t fly in the fast-paced connected products space. Waiting months for reviews and support engagements to surface customer insights gives competitors a head start on developing solutions to key market needs.
Recommendations for Staying Ahead
So how do you stay ahead of the competition and make the most out of the growing adoption of smart home products? Based on a survey of over 7,000 connected product consumers, here are three key recommendations that will give you an edge.
1) Integrate customer testing into product development
Customer Validation (CV) testing is a key practice in product development. It ensures that products reach their markets with minimal issues and deliver experiences that delight customers.
2) Test your smart home products with your target market
Recruiting enthusiastic users from your target market ensures higher test participation rates. Targeted, engaged testers produce more of the relevant feedback you need to proactively shape your product for new and existing markets.
3) Prioritize feedback for specific product areas
Not all feedback is created equal. Using a testing approach that generates issues, ideas, and praise about specific areas of the product will help you get the most value and direction from your CV projects.
Dive Deeper into the Connected Product Industry
Why stop here? Get more consumer stats and recommendations for increasing revenue and adoption of smart home products by reading the full report.