While 73% of millennials find the concept of controlling home appliances using their smartphones appealing or very appealing, less than half of over-55s share this sentiment, according to GlobalData, a recognized leader in providing business information and analytics.
The company’s latest report states that millennials (18- to 34-year-olds) are the most tech-savvy generation, meaning that these younger consumers are the most receptive to concepts such as smart homes. It also suggests that the appeal of smart appliances diminishes among older age groups. A similar pattern emerged when GlobalData asked consumers about the appeal of an internet-connected home or kitchen, with millennials being far more accepting of the concept compared to older generations.
While technology is second nature to young people today, and it is likely they will carry this fast tech-adopting attitude with them as they age, challenges exist for modern brands as to how they can engage older consumers within this space.
Matthew Perry, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData explains: “The convenience and efficacy that smart homes deliver appeals more to millennials, given that younger consumers lead busier, more demanding lifestyles, and yearn for effective and efficient products that are seamlessly integrated with the smart technologies they use day in, day out.”
This is evidenced in GlobalData’s survey data, with 65% of millennials agreeing that they rely heavily on time-saving products and services, which is 16 percentage points higher than over 55s.
Perry adds: “Producers should look to target the millennials driving this trend to mitigate the risk of failure for digitized concepts and tap into this age group’s growing desire for smart-tech solutions that offer time-saving benefits and ensure efficacy. Despite this, to appeal to a wider audience including older consumers less fluent in tech, brands need to ensure that they highlight the applicability of products in day-to-day life and how these could really revolutionize functional tasks to engage older age cohorts.”
One such example is the Amazon Dash, which allows customers to automatically re-order and replenish products ranging from personal care to pet food before they run out via Amazon delivery. By partnering with individual brands to create brand-specific Dash buttons which can be placed anywhere around the home, this creates a more convenient and effortless retail experience for the consumer, cutting out a visit to a physical store. In turn, the appeal of this type of technology is likely to engage not just tech-savvy millennials but also older age cohorts seeking to simplify the shopping and retail occasion.
Another example is the Drop smart kitchen scale which is connected to the user’s smartphone or tablet via an app. Home cooks are able to adjust and rescale a whole recipe depending on how much of a specific ingredient they have available, as well as suggesting substitutions for ingredients, and providing interactive recipes.
– Information based on GlobalData’s report: TrendSights Analysis: Smart Living.