Cyber Monday may still seem far off — after all, you literally just put the kids back into school — but the Christmas season seems to start earlier and earlier, and Cyber Monday, December 2, has now usurped Black Friday as the biggest and most anticipated shopping day of the year.
Which means retailers need to have their act together now—as in, yesterday—as far as their Cyber Monday product offerings. If you’re not in the smart home market already, you should be thinking about getting into it as soon as possible.
Here are the main reasons why:
Reason 1: The smart home market is poised for massive growth.
The global [smart home market is expected to be worth $151.4 billion — that’s billion, with a “b”—by 2024. This explosive growth is being driven by a number of factors:
1. A general interest on the part of consumers in leading more convenient and energy-saving lives.
2. The rapid evolution of “connectivity” technologies such as Wi-FI, Zigbee, and Bluetooth, which enable smart home usage via mobile phone applications.
3. The growth of the smart home product category and increasing pricing competition among the home appliance brands, making smart home appliances more affordable and accessible to everyone.
4. New and tougher environmental regulations in most countries, leading to mandatory adoption and implementation of smart home technology.
Reason 2: Google Home, Amazon Alexa, and Nest have significantly enabled the “Internet of Things” (IoT).
Of course, this ties right into number 1 as well, but thanks to the exploding popularity of new, IoT-related products like Google Home, Amazon Alexa, and Nest, the IoT has never been so robust, data rich, and primed for exponential growth.
What is the Internet of Things?
In case you didn’t already know, it’s an ecosystem of interconnected devices that can communicate with each other and transmit data without any person-to-person or person-to-computer interaction.
It’s also the technological basis for the smart home market, not to mention automated healthcare, smart farming, smart education, smart utilities, and a host of other “smart” things that portend to change the way we live for the better.
Reason 3: We’re at the smart home-enabling turning point for AI.
Starting with Siri in 2011, perhaps the biggest single driver of smart home technology has been voice-controlled personal assistants. Microsoft introduced Cortana in 2013, and shortly thereafter Amazon launched Alexa and Echo. In 2018 alone, 45.4 million people in the US spoke to a smart speaker.
But we, the humans, are still the main drivers of our devices’ behaviors. We tell them when and why to turn on and off, dim, change colors, heat up or down, etc…
Machine learning, a subset of AI, is what promises to soon change this. Machine learning will allow our devices to learn our preferences and behaviors and anticipate our needs, relinquishing us of the requirement to even tell them what to do. For example, a bedroom sensor could detect us getting out of bed, and, since the sensor also knows it’s not the middle of the night but around 7 am, when we always wake up, it will alert the coffee maker to start brewing our coffee and alert the bedroom humidifier to turn off.
With these new machine learning-enable capabilities, the convenience of smart home devices will increase even more and prime the smart home market for even more growth. At some point, we won’t even have to worry about using an app anymore—we will just go about our daily lives and as our devices will respond in kind.
Reason 4: The smart home zeitgeist — it’s alive! Alive!!
With CNBC coming out with regular videos like this one, https://www.cnbc.com/video/2018/08/16/smart-homes-of-the-future-are-connecting-more-than-150-devices.html
It’s clear that smart homes have entered “zeitgeist” territory for this century.
But the really exciting part is that we’re only at the beginning.
There’s so much potential for growth and innovation in smart homes. Brands are salivating at how best to enter this market and retailers are likewise trying to form the best relationships with the strongest IoT ecosystem partners so that they can get in early, easily, affordably, and with high quality products and mobile apps that can connect to all types of systems no matter who made them.
That’s the true promise of smart homes for the retailer: being the go-to, off-the-shelf source of the best, easiest to use, and most affordable smart home products. Scroll back up to the smart home market growth stats and chew on that for a moment: times have really never been better, and with Cyber Monday just around the corner, the time to get those smart home products on your virtual shelves is now.