On the Road to Mass Market Adoption II: Addressing Consumer Fears and Worries
In the last post, we spoke about the best ways to help consumers understand the benefits of owning a connected living system, to raise technology awareness and to increase adoption rates. To go a step further and achieve mass market adoption of connected home solutions we must not only educate, but also listen to consumers’ concerns and uncertainties regarding these technologies — that are still somewhat new to them.
Connected living is a new concept that is just beginning to ease its way into people’s lives. It encompasses a unique mix of familiar products and technologies such as smartphones, mobile applications, remote monitoring, home alarms and wireless devices — with newer concepts like Internet of Things (IoT), data analytics, self-learning and smart rules. This creates an entirely new beast that causes consumers to be understandably wary.
People tend not to buy things they don’t trust. It is very important to address those fears and concerns and help them get familiar with connected living tech, offering them reassurance and all the necessary guarantees that those devices will indeed make their lives easier, and not give them further headaches.
1. Complexity and lack of interoperability of the devices is a common fear among potential users. Consumers are worried that the system they buy today, will become obsolete tomorrow, or that different devices from different vendors may not be compatible with each other, making them useless, extra expensive or too complicated to manage. Most people do not want to spend any extra time installing or configuring a complex system. It is vital for adoption that a smart home solution can be seamlessly merged with additional services and devices in the future, so that the system can be expanded and upgraded over time, without any complicated programming or configuration. Ensuring interoperability is a key for success, and third party partnerships between different vendors and service providers will be essential to ensure that compatibility. We are confident that this type of collaboration will lead to the development of new hybrid business models which will complement each other, enrich customer experience, create value for users and, eventually, lead to mass market adoption.
2. Another worry among consumers and a big barrier to market adoption is data privacy and security. Consumers, especially those aged 30 to 49, worry about how their personal information is handled, and are concerned that the data collected by connected living devices may be stolen or even used against them. Ensuring data protection at all costs and with solid guarantees is essential to earn consumer trust.
3. Other issues that must be addressed are pricing and customer support. Consumers should be clearly informed about their pricing options. Hidden costs of connected home solutions are a common complaint among early tech adopters. They need to know exactly how much they will pay, for what services and with what frequency. Also, they need reassurance that they will receive all the technical support they may need with their system, whether it is for set up and installation, upgrading or maintenance over time.
It is of the utmost importance to listen to and address consumer worries and concerns about connected living technologies if we aim for mass market adoption. Those concerns that stand out most are interoperability, data privacy, pricing and support, so we must not avoid those issues, but focus our efforts instead on appeasing consumers’ worries about them in a clear, outright and compelling way.
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