Parks Associates asks consumers about the smart home

Survey says consumers with security systems show more intentions to buy into smart home
Monday, April 25, 2016

DALLAS—In a Parks Associates’ survey of homeowners with broadband connections, those with a security system were more likely to say they intend to buy a smart home device in the next 12 months.  

“The most important things for security dealers to understand is that smart home devices are here; it’s an emerging market, not an established market. The security dealers are now prominent, [but] they’re not exclusive,” Tricia Parks, CEO of Parks Associates, told Security Systems News.

The report, “360 view: Residential smart home and security,” compiled data from 10,000 consumer surveys from households in the U.S. with a broadband connection. Surveys were gathered in the fourth quarter of 2015. “The reason we go to that large a survey is that we are querying not just about mass market products, but also emerging products,” she said.

“Seventeen percent of all [broadband] households have one of the many smart home devices about which we surveyed,” Parks said. Between 25- and 27 percent of broadband households have an active security system, she said. Among households with a security system, 45- to 50 percent already have a smart home device, whereas only 6- to 7 percent of households without security systems have smart home devices.

“Nearly 50 percent report a likelihood to purchase some smart home device,” she said. Parks warned that intentions to purchase a smart home device do not necessarily actualize in sales. “Overall, you need to consider that perhaps one-third of intenders will actually purchase one or more devices.”

“We’re seeing popular devices—meaning higher intentions—for IP cameras, smart thermostats, an emerging interest … in video doorbells, and then smart lighting of all types,” Parks said. “Interest across the board is up, but those are the lead products.”

One question in the survey asked where participants got their connected devices. “A lot of that, in this early market, is through the security providers. They’re a dominant channel right now.” Parks used IP cameras as an example of smart home devices that consumers will likely get from security dealers. Smart appliances, such as a smart refrigerator, are more likely to be bought from a big-box store.

The report divided consumers into three categories: professionally installed with professional monitoring, professionally installed without monitoring, self installed with professional monitoring and self installed with self- or professional monitoring.

“The dominant majority of active electronic security systems are professionally installed, professionally monitored,” she said, adding that this portion has a large margin over the next category.

Parks said that the report covers information relevant to dealers entering the smart home market as well as dealers already selling smart home products.

The report does not present specific trends among any geographic regions, Parks said. But, more suburban households are adopting smart home technologies than rural or urban households, she said.