The second installment of our Q&A series with Park Associates features senior analyst Patrice Samuels. Patrice studies digital home technical support services across global markets, with a focus on market trends, business models, and provider strategies.
In addition to exploring events and disruptions in the technical support space, she examines pay-TV and broadband services in North America and Europe, digital media, and digital music services.
In today’s blog, she answered our questions about the key trends influencing the smart kitchen market and the overall challenges facing the global IoT market.
IOT MARKET CHALLENGES
Q. In your opinion, what are the three biggest challenges facing the IoT market in 2017?
- Price/Value – IoT industries have struggled to create products with strong value propositions that attract the mass market at high price points. Smart product manufacturers and distributors are now creating tiers of service where they can sell basic smart products at lower price points and maintain the higher tiered products for high-end markets.
- Lack of Awareness – Consumers are still less familiar with IoT products like smart cameras and thermostats than they are with other smart devices such as smartphones and tablets. The combined marketing muscle of a growing number of large companies now playing in the space—such as Amazon, Google, and Apple—is gradually increasing consumers awareness.
- Interoperability Issues – The potential for device interoperability issues often creates apprehension among consumers about which products to purchase. Consumers may ultimately avoid making purchases because they do not want to deal with these issues. As a result, companies have engaged in “works with” certification programs that inform customers about the products that are compatible with their products. This should increase consumer confidence in making IoT product purchases.
Q. What are the key trends influencing the smart kitchen market in 2017?
- Voice control – Smart appliance manufacturers are making their products compatible with voice control technologies such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home.
- Recipe integration – Smart stove makers are integrating recipes into their products to enable a variety of features, including cooking guides that automatically create the perfect cooking settings for integrated recipes.
- Consumable reordering – This feature is most common among smart dishwashers. The feature monitors the products commonly used in the dishwasher, such as detergent and rinse aid, and automatically reorders these products when supplies are running low.
Q. How is the connected kitchen changing the competitive landscape for appliances, shopping, distribution, and meal preparation?
- Shopping/distribution – The product reordering capabilities in smart appliances come in two formats. Appliance manufacturers can either build a physical button into their hardware that consumers will press each time they want to reorder consumables, or the smart appliance can track consumable usage and automatically reorder the product as needed. Either way, consumable brands such as detergent manufacturers that integrate with appliance manufacturers to provide these services will attain a market advantage.
- Meal Preparation – One of the primary goals of smart stove/oven manufacturers is to improve the quality of food being prepared by helping consumers achieve better precision with ingredients and cooking settings. Some offer prepackaged meals, others do so by automating elements of the food preparation process. Manufacturers intent on automating elements of meal preparation must be mindful that the kitchen in still considered “the heart of the home.” Consumers often have an emotional connection to the meals they prepare, and products that automate meal preparation too much might take that emotional connection out of the equation and therefore not be appealing.
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About Parks Associates:
Parks Associates is an internationally recognized market research and consulting company specializing in emerging consumer technology products and services. Founded in 1986, Parks Associates creates research capital for companies ranging from Fortune 500 to small start-ups with expertise in the Internet of Things (IoT), digital media and platforms, entertainment and gaming, home networks, Internet and television services, digital health, mobile applications and services, support services, consumer apps, advanced advertising, consumer electronics, energy management, and home control systems and security.