Earlier this year, we saw Amazon launch its newest Alexa-compatible device, the Smart Oven. But this isn’t your typical smart appliance. In fact, it’s not just a conventional oven, but also an air fryer, microwave, and food warmer all in one.
Amazon isn’t the first to combine multi-functionality into one of its appliances, however. Samsung’s Family Hub fridge serves as a primary communication center for the home, letting families organize schedules while also alerting them of what they might need to add to their grocery list.
We’ll continue to see smart appliances move from singular to multi-functionality over the next few years, and it’s one of several trends impacting the smart appliance market today. Let’s dive in a bit more.
Trend #1: The move to multi-feature appliances
Growth in urbanization has led to more consumers moving into smaller spaces, which means less and less counter space is becoming available for the latest and greatest gadgets and kitchen appliances. Therefore, manufacturers continue to combine multi-functionality into singular appliances, helping consumers not only save space, but cost as well. Why buy a microwave, an oven, and an air fryer, when Amazon offers a 4-in-1 deal? Consumers will continue to view these options as a no-brainer, especially those that live in cities and urban areas.
Trend #2: Consumers continue to worry about personal data privacy
The California Consumer Privacy Act is set to go into effect on January 1, 2020, and many companies are still figuring out how to comply. The fact is, California also happens to be the largest consumer market in the United States, which means the majority of U.S. companies will still have to honor those data rights regardless of where they are headquartered. Just as U.S. companies had to learn to grapple with Europe’s GDPR, they’ll also now have to implement business practices to ensure compliance with this new California data privacy law – and for manufacturers of smart appliances, this will be even more important.
It’s not just that the law is set to go into effect soon, but also that consumers are paying more and more attention to how their data is being used in the first place, from what is being collected about them, to what that data might reveal about their private life. Brands will continue to be held at a higher standard, and they’ll have to prove they are trustworthy before consumers purchase their products.
Trend #3: Early tech adopters still lead the pack
Smart home appliances are still very much considered a luxury item, and given their cost – on average, they cost about 30 to 50 percent more than their conventional counterparts – it’s the early tech adopters and more tech savvy consumers who are most willing to purchase them. Families, or those in lower income households, still don’t see the need for smart appliances. At the same time, brands haven’t done a great job at outlining all of a smart appliances’ use case, so there’s still a level of education that needs to happen before we see mass adoption.
These are the key trends bound to affect the smart consumer appliances market in 2020, but if you think we missed some, be sure to let us know. And stay tuned for our next blog post in our series on consumer appliances in which will discuss where digital olfaction fits in!