The UK smart home market was worth £900m in 2017, making it the second largest market in Europe, according to new research.
It was also the fastest growing, up 19 percent in value between 2016 and 2017, and up 35 percent in volume.
These figures exclude the more mature smart TV market which is worth a further £1.3 billion – bringing the value of the wider smart home market to over £2.2 billion.
GfK’s tracking also shows there were 336 brands offering 3,777 smart home products in the UK over a 12-month period to April 2018, an increase of 30% year-on-year.
Routers and smart TVs are gateway to further smart products
85% of the UK’s online population now own at least one smart product, while the number owning four or more has grown from 35% last year to 44% this year*.
The most commonly owned devices are smart routers, smart TVs, smart meters, fitness and activity trackers, and smart set-top boxes. The fastest growing product in the last year is interactive speakers, where ownership has doubled between 2017 and 2018.
GfK’s research indicates that routers and smart TVs tend to be gateway products, while smart lighting and thermostats are chosen by those who already own a portfolio of other smart home products.
Entertainment and connectivity wield the most ‘smart appeal’
High levels of smart TV ownership, and the rapid take up of smart speakers, illustrate GfK’s findings that Britons are most attracted to smart products in the areas of entertainment and connectivity.
20% of the UK online population cited this area as having the most appealing products or solutions, followed by security and control (14%), and smart energy and lighting (13%). Smart health appeals to 10% and smart appliances to 8%. Smart entertainment is the only category to see an increase in its appeal since 2017.
Home control and security are top of consumer’s ‘smart’ shopping plans
The good news for manufacturers is that consumers who plan to buy a smart device or appliance in the future have their sights set on a wide range of products.
The top smart products that people are actively planning to buy, or interested in buying, are smoke and gas detectors, energy meters, lighting and light control, thermostats and energy management, alarm systems and IP security cameras.
Price and privacy: The two main barriers to smart home
Price is the main perceived barrier to purchasing, with 41% citing it as a concern. Next comes personal privacy at 23%. Both manufacturers and retailers need to work hard to address these concerns, and to ensure that product benefits are communicated clearly. The research also noted the lack of connectivity between smart home products where several existed, suggesting that one of the main advantages of the smart home is not being experienced.
Trevor Godman, divisional director at GfK states, “Take-up of smart home products in the UK continues to rise, with interactive speakers the hot product of the last year. In contrast however, the level of consumer excitement about smart home as a category has lost momentum somewhat – particularly for smart appliances and smart health products. As smart home pivots to the mass market, it is essential that manufacturers look at what is holding consumers back and communicate compelling benefits that capture consumers’ imaginations.”
About the GfK Smart Home UK survey
In collaboration with techUK, GfK interviewed 1,000 UK adults (aged 16+) using an online questionnaire between 13th – 20th April 2018. techUK’s State of the Connected Home report is available here.