DIY will continue its rapid rise during crisis

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04/01/2020

With most of us “sheltering at home,” and relying more and more on our devices to stay connected for work and family and friends, bandwidth limits in households across the U.S., and the globe, are being tested, to say the least.

I know in my household, we probably have twice as many devices connected now, all day and night long. It can be draining both technologically speaking and emotionally as well, as I know many of us (especially those with spouses working from home and children learning remotely) are finding out.

With so many of us at home for the foreseeable future, I see a continued rise in DIY security solutions and other connected devices, which were already seeing a rise in demand before the outbreak. For example, among consumers who acquired their security system less than two years ago, 60 percent are self-installed, compared to only seven percent of systems purchased more than six years ago, according to new research from Parks Associates.

The research firm’s DIY Home Security Tracker finds that DIY security systems are taking a larger share of the residential security market due to their growing popularity among security households.

“Most DIY households use professional monitoring services, but currently 63 percent of these DIY systems have had their monitoring subscription for less than two years,” Parks Associates Senior Analyst Dina Abdelrazik said. “Most DIY security owners are also self-installing add-on smart home devices, so companies are expanding their product lines to meet consumer demand, including Abode, Array by Hampton and Blue by ADT. This demand for an easy-to-install, integrated solution is becoming more prevalent in the Apple HomeKit ecosystem, with more DIY security systems and camera-related devices releasing product lines compatible with this ecosystem.”

The traditional residential security channel is dominated by professionally installed, professionally monitored systems, but smart home device manufacturers are increasingly extending into the security space, Parks noted. Currently 33 percent of U.S. broadband households own a security system, up from 28 percent in 2018.

It will be interesting to see how long it will take before things get back to normal, with business as usual, and the overall impact, whether short-lived or lasting, this extended crisis will have on consumer spending trends in the home.

And on a deeper level: Do we become a society that sinks deeper into using technology as our main, or even only, way to connect with people, or do we get back to a time when meeting face-to-face — and forging meaningful and lasting connections — was worth its weight in gold?

Only time will tell.

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