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Convenience drives Chinese smart-home market

New research from market intelligence agency Mintel has suggested that convenience will drive the future of the Chinese smart-home market.
However, affordability is the biggest barrier to purchasing, in an environment where today’s Chinese consumers are growing increasingly familiar with smart home devices.
According to Mintel, as many as 68 per cent of urban Chinese consumers who have purchased or are interested in smart-home devices say that convenience is a primary reason for their interest. Meanwhile, 60 per cent attribute their interest in smart-home devices to trying new technology and half because smart home devices make them feel more relaxed at home.
“Chinese consumers are now increasingly knowledgeable about how smart-home appliances can help to simplify daily lives,” said Mintel China research analyst Kaye Huang. “Convenience as well as an interest in trying new technology are big reasons for Chinese consumers to purchase smart-home devices. Parents are showing more interest in smart-home devices than those without children; which is likely to be attributed to how the devices can help parents save time and effort. On the flip side, price, more so than privacy, is what is keeping Chinese consumers from purchasing these devices. This indicates that companies in the smart-home market need to put more effort into communicating why these products are value for money.”
Meanwhile, Mintel research reveals that automatic adjustment to environmental changes is a big opportunity for players in the smart home devices market; more than half of urban Chinese consumers think that this function is a necessity.
“What will stand out in the smart-home market is the ‘automatic adjustment of parameters’ which enables smart-home devices to automatically respond to environmental changes, such as temperature and humidity. Today’s Chinese consumers have higher expectations on their living conditions and automation is an important part of making the living environment ‘smarter’,” said Huang.
“Voice control has been a popular area of development in recent years especially since the industry believes that it could be the next generation of user interaction,” continued Huang. “Yet, our research finds that voice control, while widely-known, is a less-used smart home function. While playing music and asking for general information are two main functions that Chinese consumers are using for voice control, in reality this only counts for a handful of consumers, suggesting consumers’ habit of using voice control is far from being firmly established. In the future, brands can look at rolling out strategies and initiatives to instil the habit of using voice control among consumers in China.”

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